We sorted through the research to find the smart ways you
can protect your clan.
1. Disinfect surprising surfaces.
After someone gets sick, you’re diligent about washing the
sheets and spraying down the coffee table, but don’t forget to clean all the
common spaces. Scientists at the University of Virginia discovered that some of
the most-infected areas in the home included fridge handles, doorknobs, remote
controls, light switches, bathroom faucets and dishwasher handles. Since
viruses can live on surfaces for up to eight hours, it’s smart to do a deep
clean of your home.
2. Choose the right cleaners.
To effectively kill those flu-causing viruses, look for
wipes labeled “anti-virus.” According to British researchers, these sanitizing
wipes are more effective than the garden varieties. If you’re on a budget, pick
up a disinfecting spray. Or whip up a solution on your own from bleach or
vinegar, both of which are proven virus-killers. (Just don’t mix the two
3. Start a hand-washing rule.
It’s no secret that scrubbing up is the No.1 way to fend off
the sniffles. Teach your children how to wash up properly with soap and water,
making sure to scrub all surfaces (don’t forget beneath nails, between fingers
and on the backs of the hands) for at least 20 seconds. Then make sure that
every member of your family hits the sink as soon as they enter the home; after
bathroom breaks and sneezes; and before meals.
4. Run a humidifier.
Cold and flu viruses thrive in chilly, dry atmospheres,
reports a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences. Running a humidifier adds moisture to the air, which may deter the
spread of those germs. Bonus: The added moisture keeps your nasal passages from
drying out, so you can breathe easier.
5. Set out the tissues.
Just one sneeze can spray cold and flu infected droplets six
feet! To prevent the spread of germs in your home, teach your little ones how
to sneeze into their elbows or a tissue. And don’t forget to remind them to
immediately toss those used tissues into the trash.
(Sharon Liao for Beauty and Confidence)
(Picture: woman with cleaning products from Shutterstock)