Germs Ew! That is exactly how I feel on a daily basis. Due to my wonderful anxiety disorder, I have OCD about cleanliness and hand hygiene. I have learned some great tips for household infection prevention, as I come from a healthcare environment where I hired providers, nurses and important Infection Preventionists. Even as someone hiring these wonderful professionals, I too went through training programs on proper hand hygiene.
Now more than ever during this pandemic, we need to protect ourselves and our families with proper hand washing and home hygiene. So where do you start you may ask? Don’t worry, because I am here to share these tips for househould infection prevention with you.
Tip 1: Proper Hand Hygiene
First and foremost, it is important that everyone practices proper hand hygiene. My first recommendation is to get everyone involved at the same time and into this habit of washing your hands. We all know to wash our hands after we use the restroom ( I hope). You should also be washing your hands before every meal and especially if you’re coming in from outside your car. Yes, I know common sense! However, think about how many times you may have forgotten to do this at home or even when you were out eating on the run. The water should be hot to the touch and you should be lathering the soap on all aspect of your hands.
Tip 2: Implementing Washing Hands with Kids
So how can you implement proper hygiene with your children? Children love games and they like to be involved. I like to start by making it fun with singing a hand washing song for the younger ages.
Here are some great videos on YouTube to help you with exposing your children to proper hand washing:
Tip 3: Preventing Forgetfullness
At this present time, forgetfullness can be tragic. This is not a time to slip up. My recommendation is to put a timer before each meal to make sure everyone remembers to wash their hands, if you are not used to this process. This is important for household infection prevention.
Tip 4: Household Infection Prevention
There is nothing more appealing to me than a clean house that has been properly disinfected. Anything that your hands touch, you should be cleaning. I wipe down my counters with a solution of bleach mixed with water in a spray bottle. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil or lemon oil to make it smell better. The bleach will kill any bacteria and viruses that may be lurking around. This is essential even more now, with the COVID-19 Virus.
Tip 5: What to Clean
You may be asking yourself, “What do I need to clean in the house daily”? You should be using disinfectant or the bleach solution with a wash cloth or paper towel on door handles, laptops, phones, railings, light switches, cabinet handles, ovenhandles, microwave and refrigierator handles, oven handles and ANYTHING your hands touch daily. This should be done more often during this pandemic and when anyone exits the home for any reason at this present time.Utilize wash rags and only use them once and then throw in the wash on the hot cycle with detergent. This is also beneficial if you’re low on paper towels or Lysol wipes.
I also recommend mopping the floors daily with bleach and your favorite mopping solution daily if possible. I use disinfectant spray on the carpets and furniture daily in addition to letting the washer run with some bleach on hot cycle after washing clothes. These are all great efforts for household infection prevention!
Tip 6: Hygiene At School
If you can imagine the amount of germs we bring into the house on a daily basis, we may just crawl into a corner and cry. I always hear about children bringing home illnesses to their siblings from school and I do think there should be a proper hygiene process at school as well.
Once kids are back to school, make sure they are still implementing washing their hands before meals. Give them wipes to clean their desks, as well as hand sanitizer. This isn’t just for coronavirus protection, but from protection from other bacteria and viruses.
Teachers can only do so much with the amount of kids in the class. Make sure your child is taking the right precautions as well. I would also ask the teacher what they are doing to prevent the spread of germs. Have a talk with your child about not sharing things like drinks with their friends. We tend to forget these important conversations. These are all very important for household infection prevention!
Extra Tips on Household Infection Prevention
As an extra bonus during these trying times, I want to provide you some additional information on protection from the COVID-19 virus.
- For anyone coming into the home from grocery shopping (especially essential workers) I recommend having an area in the garage or a space that they can take off their clothes and put into a trash bag daily. If the space is a bathroom downstairs, be sure to disinfect right away after your hands are clean.
- Washing hands before coming inside the house (bring a bottle of tap water each day with you into the car and some soap).
- Disinfect any reusable grocery bags from the store and store them in the garage.
- Do not touch your face!
- Wipe down car handles and steering wheel with bleach spray or Lysol wipes is essential.
- Esential workers or anyone coming into the home from the store or ANYWHERE should be showering immediately and the shower should be disinfectant with bleach after each use. Ladies don’t forget to wash things like your hair ties and head bands! Throw them in hot water with soap or in the washing machine.
- Shoes should not be worn in the house from outside. Disinfect your shoes each time you come home.
- Use bleach or Lysol wipes to wipe down your groceries before putting them away. Have only one designated section for the groceries and be sure to wipe down the counters with bleach afterwards. You should do the same with all other deliveries to your home.
- Open mail and shipped boxes outside and also have a separate designated area for your mail. If you can change your bills to electronic mailings or payments, now would be the good time to limit the mail you receive.
These Tips for Household Infection Prevention will definitely lower the chances of becoming sick. As a reminder you should also be protecting yourself and others by sneezing and coughing into your elbow and washing your hands regularly. Let’s all be kind, safe and use all precautions to have a healthier community at all times!
For some great Spring cleaning tips, check out https://tampabaymoms.com/home-lifestyle/11-spring-cleaning-tips-for-busy-moms/