As we approach some of the coldest months of the year, it is important to try your best and not only take the precautions to prevent yourself from catching a cold but to try and stop it in its tracks before it spreads to everyone in your house. What’s worse than having a cold, is having to care for others while you are also feeling under the weather. However, taking care of others in your family is what part of being a family is all about. If we could help, however, in giving your household the best chance in eliminating chances that the virus spreads, then we encourage you to read on.
Though it is not a guarantee that you can stop the spread, it cannot hurt to take these preventative measures. Most of these tips are actually just advice to take when trying to practice good hygiene, but practicing healthy hygiene and habits are important to keep your whole family healthy.
Here are simple tips that you can implement in your household, from teaching the younger ones how to cover their mouths while sneezing, to washing your hands on a regular basis.
Easy Steps to Prevent Spreading a Cold:
1.Wash Your Hands Regularly.
A quick rinse, especially when someone in your family or that you live with is ill, just does not cut it at this point. Though this should be a regular habit, learning how to wash your hands properly, thoroughly, and effectively should be practiced from the beginning on and taught to the young ones in your family. Points to keep in mind when you are teaching or washing hands are: Add soap, use warm water because it helps kill off the most bacteria, scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (children are taught to sing the “Happy Birthday” song).
You should be, and teaching the kids, to wash up before they eat, after they come home from being outside, and after every time that they have used the restroom.
Another tip to keep in mind when talking about hand washing is to keep hand sanitizer with you in your car or in your purse for times where a sink and soap are not available.
2.Don’t Keep Just Your Hands Clean, Sanitize Items That Are Passed Throughout Your Family
Items that are shared and passed between family members are breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and colds. This is dangerous for your family and catching things that oughtn’t to be caught. These items can also be easily overlooked, as well. Wiping down doorknobs, for instance, is a simple task to complete that might make a whole lot of difference. Use cleaners that guarantee killing off flu viruses, no matter how strong they may be. This may mean using bleach, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, alcohol, or antiseptics. If you have none of these on hand, you can simply resort to soap and water.
Germs from a cold can live on surfaces like tabletops, remote controls, and toys for hours after an infected person touches them. This can also make a person crazy, so do what you can, but don’t go overboard with cleaning.
3.Teach Important Preventative Habits to Children When They Have a Cold.
Though some adults need reminders as well, teach children the proper way to not spread their germs when they’re dealing with the symptoms of an everyday cold. For example, covering up when sneezing or coughing is important because not only can a virus travel through direct contact with another person, the contagious portions can actually spread out up to six feet from the infected.
Teach children and remind your spouse to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing if one is on hand. Once finished, please do NOT put that tissue back in your pocket. Throw it away as soon as possible into the nearest trash can.
If no tissues are available and a sneeze is quickly creeping up, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. The reason for this is simple, germs on your elbow are less likely to touch another person or object than the germs on your hands.
4.Use Disposable Products.
Switching to paper products, at least for the affected, is a simple, yet effective way to stop the spread of germs. This means eliminating shared towels and cups in the bathroom as well, not just eating in the kitchen or dining room.
5.Don’t Let This Person Cook or Do the Dishes.
Relieving the wife or husband of dish duty for a few days or weeks cannot be the worst thing in the world. Quite on the contrary, this tip kills two birds with one stone. Give them the rest they need to recover, and prevent the spread of germs through dishes or cooked food.
6.Try to Avoid Touching Your Eyes and Face.
Since germs can live on a surface for a few hours, it is easy to pick them up off of neutral items that are touched by everyone in the family. Though they are not so dangerous when they are on your hands, you can easily transfer the germs via your mouth, nose, and eyes into your body. This can also be done through habits where you don’t even notice you are doing them, for example, biting your nails or quickly rubbing your eyes. Telling your kids and preventing them from doing so is a difficult task to take on.
To avoid catching the flu, you can invest in getting you and your family vaccinated. From a standard to a high dose flu shot, even a nasal spray vaccine can help prevent the spread of a virus into your system. Though there is controversy around receiving the flu shot, it might be the difference for you between catching the flu or not. Getting a flu shot can also come with side effects and are different depending on the person.
8.Just Clean Your Entire House.
Doing some spring cleaning early this year is never a bad idea. Focus on the areas that are bound to have the most germs and can, therefore, transfer the germs. These include home desks, floors, sinks, kitchen sponges, dishcloths, toilets, and even cutting boards.
9.Now, More Than Ever, Practice Healthy Habits.
There is not a more important time to truly take care of yourself than when someone you are in close contact with is ill. Get as much sleep as you can, exercise and get out of the house on a consistent base, watch your stress levels and manage them in a healthy way, drink loads of fluids (especially water), and eat healthily to build up your immune system.
10.Limit Contact with People, in and Outside of Your Home, Who Are Ill.
If that means borderline quarantining them, then so be it. You should not let the person who is ill leave the home often, have them use the separate guest bathroom, and maybe even change sleep arrangements, so germs cannot be passed during contact while sleeping.
Though it is difficult to truly prevent a spread of a virus throughout your family when you are all in such close quarters, these are preventative measures that can easily be implemented in your home. Comment below on your tips or ideas that can help a household keep the cold from spreading.