Outside the weather may be terrible, but inside your home, the environment is just perfect for the germs that make your family sick. From mold growing in your walls or basement to dust mites in your bed, your home harbors the very germs you are trying to stay away from.
Germs congregate in certain places in your home and can hang around for days. Doctors at the University of Virginia recently found that the homes of 16 people with colds tested positive for the Rhinovirus, which causes half of all colds.
Germs tend to congregate in places in the home that are commonly touched by other family members. These are germ “hot spots.” When someone sick touches something, germs remain, ready for the next victim.
The Virginia study found that the most germ laden “hot spots” in the homes of the study subjects were:
The TV remote
The refrigerator door handle
Salt and pepper shakers
Bathroom faucets and flushers
Microwave door handles
The study, sponsored by the makers of Lysol, also showed that germs survived in hotel rooms a day after guests had left, waiting to be picked up by the next person staying there.
Keeping your home clean and germ free is a never ending battle. Hygienic cleaning is more than just removing dust and dirt by vacuuming and dusting, and wiping down surfaces. It means removing germs or reducing them to a safe level.
This means, using cleaning products, disinfectants that are specially made to kill germs. An alternative disinfectant is the universal solution…1 tsp. bleach to 1qt. water. Be careful of toxic cleaning products. Wear rubber gloves or a surgical mask. Don’t breathe in fumes. Cloths and mops need to be germ free, or you will just spread the germs around to other surfaces. Do not mix cleaning products, especially bleach and ammonia.
Keep all hard surfaces clean and disinfected. Surfaces should be dried after cleaning. Dampness helps residual germs survive, and if sufficient moisture is available, the germs can multiply.
Wash clothes and bedding frequently to keep germs at bay. Dust mites make their home in bed linens and children’s stuffed toys
Keep things dry. Mold thrives in moist areas. If you suspect mold in your home have it inspected. Shake the shower curtain after you bathe. Spray it. Fix leaky faucets. Wipe down the shower stall and sink, and run the exhaust fan.
Investigate “green” products that are environmentally friendly and non toxic. Some of these products work just as well as the main stream products we are familiar with.
Finally, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, and teach your family to wash theirs. Hand sanitizers are also a good idea.
St. Pete Times
Family Day Care Program….Brookline
http://www.nhs.uk/Live well/home hygiene