When one family member gets the flu, it spells trouble for the entire home. Flu germs can spread like wildfire even before symptoms start to show.
You need to beware of the causes of cough so that you can be more conscious about your health condition and determine whether it’s a simple cough or a case of flu. But, more importantly, to keep your family happy and healthy, below are different ways to flu-proof your home:
1. Cover the nose and mouth during coughs and sneezes
Coughing and sneezing without covering your nose and mouth may pass on flu germs to other family members. At home, teach everyone to make it a habit to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue whenever they cough or sneeze. Then, throw away the tissue and wash your hands straight away.
If your cough is persistent, go to your doctor to get diagnosed and treated before it becomes worse. Your doctor may ask you to take cough medicine to alleviate your condition. Don’t forget to follow the recommended dosage when taking your couch medication.
2. Get vaccinated
One of the most effective ways of preventing flu is to get vaccinated. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends people to take the following types of flu shots:
- Standard Flu Shot – recommended for ages six months and older
- Intradermal Flu Shot – recommended for adults ages 18 to 64, and administered into the skin
- High-Dose Flu Shot – improves immune system response and increases flu prevention
The vaccine in itself doesn’t cause the flu virus. However, there are some people who may experience symptoms after receiving the shot, including:
- Soreness at the injected body part
The symptoms above are usually mild and disappear within one to two days. Remember to talk to your doctor before receiving any vaccine especially if you have allergies or have had a negative reaction to a vaccine in the past. It’s wise to schedule your family vaccinations during the fall or before the start of flu season.
3. Deep clean your home
Flu germs and viruses tend to lurk in things that you touch regularly. Common hot spots for germs in a home are:
- Cutting boards
- Home desks
- Kitchen sponges
As much as possible, clean and disinfect hotspots often. If someone in your home has the flu, take extra care when washing or cleaning their things.
Use the right cleaning products
The efficacy of your clean-up routine will depend immensely on your chosen cleaning products. It’s crucial that you pick the right cleaning products to eliminate cold and flu-causing viruses in your home. You will want to use a product with disinfecting properties so make sure to read labels and follow instructions.
Common household cleaners which also serve to disinfect include the following:
- Chlorine bleach
- Hydrogen peroxide
- White vinegar
- Lemon or lime juice
- Baking soda
Before using any of the above, look up the right way of using them for household purposes so they can effectively clean and ensure your home is germ-free.
4. Wash your hands often
Not all follow the proper hand washing technique. For it to be effective in cleaning your hands, you and your family should be following these steps:
- Run water over your hands
- Add soap
- Scrub fingers, palms, and in between for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse, then dry
In areas of your home where a sink isn’t available, place an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Your hand-sanitizer should at least contain 60 percent alcohol to be effective. However, bear in mind that hand-sanitizers aren’t substitutes for proper hand washing.
5. Limit contact
To avoid infecting others with the flu virus, take these appropriate measures whenever someone in your family gets the disease:
- Allow the sick person to stay and rest at home.
- Limit close contact between the sick person and other family members while he or she is still contagious. This may take up to a week before the sick person shows symptoms of the flu.
- If possible, change the sleeping arrangements.
- Avoid sharing towels, dishes, toys, and washcloths with the sick person.
Practice good habits
The power of a healthy lifestyle can ward off any sickness. Practice frequent house cleaning as well as good hygiene to keep the flu away from you and your family. These good habits go a long way in keeping your immune system healthy and your home free from the horrors of the flu. Also, be sure to:
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat a balanced meal.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise regularly.
By considering the above tips and adopting healthy habits, you’ll be on your way to effectively germ-proofing your household.