How to: Flu-proofing your Home
By practicing a few simple rules at home, you can help keep your family healthy and prevent infection from spreading.
1. Cover coughs and sneezes
When you have a cold or flu, germs are spread through droplets from the mouth and nose. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands straight away. If you don’t have no tissue handy, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Germs live on surfaces - you can get infected if you touch an infected surface or light switch and then rub your eyes or bite your nails, for example. Keep your hands away from your face as much as you possibly can.
3. Regular hand-washing
For hand-washing to be effective, make sure you follow these steps:
- Run warm water over your hands.
- Add soap.
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds, scrubbing each finger individually.
- Rinse and dry.
Stock up on (at least 60%) alcohol-based hand sanitisers for areas where sinks aren’t available or when you’re out and about. Remember that they’re not a replacement for washing your hands with soap and warm water — they don’t tackle all germs, and don’t work on visibly dirty hands.
Remind children to wash their hands:
- each time they use the bathroom
- before they eat
- after they come home from school or a play date
4. Avoid contact with family members who are ill
If someone in your family does get sick, take these steps to prevent it from spreading:
- Keep the sick person at home
- Avoid contact between the sick person and other family members as much as you can while they’re contagious. Change sleeping arrangements if necessary
You should also avoid sharing the following with a sick person:
5. Clean your home
Flu germs and viruses love to lurk on items you touch every day, such as:
- kitchen sponges
- cutting boards
- home desks
Clean and disinfect these areas regularly. Best to dump the kitchen sponges where possible.
If someone in your household has the flu or is unwell, take care if you are washing their belongings. Wash dishes and cutlery thoroughly by hand or in the dishwasher.
You don’t have to do a sick person’s laundry separately but try to avoid scooping up an armload of items and holding them close to you before washing. Use laundry soap and dry on a hot setting. Always wash your hands immediately after handling dirty laundry.
7. Healthy habits
Don’t forget the power of a healthy lifestyle and immune system to fight off sickness. Remember: Don’t slack on sleep
- Eat as much fruit & veg as you can
- Drink lots of fluids – staying hydrated is key
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your stress levels