As a society, we are on high alert against the spread of viruses and infections right now, specifically COVID-19. Many of the steps we need to take to reduce the spread of the coronavirus are the same steps we should take with other contagious bacteria and virus infections. We have put together six steps that may help reduce the spread of infection in your home while tending to the essential needs of your family.
Wash your hands often! Scrub, scrub, scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. If warm water and soap are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If counting to 20 doesn’t keep you or your kids entertained, sing a song to make the time go by, like the ABCs, Happy Birthday, or B-I-N-G-O.
Stay home. Stay home in general if you can, but especially if you have signs and symptoms of an infection or if you are not feeling well. Some of those signs and symptoms may be a fever, sore throat, coughing, trouble breathing, or diarrhea. In today’s virtual world, you can likely make up the work or activities you will miss. If not, you are giving yourself the time to rest and keep others from harm.
Disinfect surfaces and well-trafficked areas of your home. Not only do your hands need to be clean, but so do the things that you touch in your home. Clean surfaces often, such as kitchen and bathroom surfaces, doorknobs, handles, cell phones, computers, keys, desks, and of course, toys. If you believe you and your family are at risk of infection, children should only play with hard surface toys that are easy to clean and disinfect. Not sure what to use to disinfect? Keep it simple with these everyday virus-killing household cleaning products.
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Bacteria and viruses can easily enter your body by touching those areas of your face. When in doubt, try to avoid touching your face. If that is not possible, make sure your hands have been thoroughly cleaned using the methods in Step #1.
Cover your cough or sneeze. You know the saying, “Say it, don’t spray it”? The same goes for coughing or sneezing. Cough or sneeze using a tissue or the inside of your arm. If using a tissue, use a single-use tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately after use.
Don’t share personal items. Teaching our kids to share is an everyday battle. However, in the case of reducing the spread of infections, this is one time where it is OK if they don’t. Avoid sharing drinking glasses, utensils, plates, or any other items you would use to eat with. Be sure to rinse them with hot, soapy water. It’s also best to avoid sharing other items such as hairbrushes, combs, makeup, razor blades, and toothbrushes. We would recommend avoiding sharing toothbrushes regularly, but we are not here to judge!
Use antibiotics appropriately. Use antibiotics when prescribed and as prescribed. Unless otherwise directed by your physician or a medical professional, take all the prescribed doses of your antibiotic. Do not take other people's prescription medications, as this can lead to potential complications and antibiotic resistance.
These six steps may seem like no-brainers, but in a world where you are being pulled in many directions, it’s nice to have a six-step, no-brainer plan to help you remember what to do. We wish you and your family good health and a happy, clean home!