As a mom, you may clean the kitchen and bathroom regularly, and you certainly wash your hands before eating and after using the toilet. However, there is no avoiding the fact that your family will come into contact with germs throughout their day to day life. Most of these germs are harmless but others can cause illness like cold and flu[i] so it’s good to be aware of some of the less-obvious places you, your partner and your children might come into contact with cold and flu through the day.
Helping Prevent the Flu for Mom and Dad
Where: The trip to school / driving to work
The car steering wheel can have up to nine times as many germs as a toilet seat. Cold and flu viruses can survive for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces so keep a pack of Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes in your car and wipe down the steering wheel and dashboard to help prevent the spread of cold and flu germs. Lysol®’s disinfecting wipes, when used as directed, kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria*, including eight cold and flu viruses.
Where: The office
Hectic schedules might mean eating lunch at your desk or rushed bathroom breaks, both of which help germs build up on your keyboard at work. To reduce the chance of picking up illness causing germs such as cold and flu at the office, ensure you wash your hands throughout the day with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. Also try to wipe down your keyboard with a disinfectant wipe before beginning work.
Where: The home
During cold and flu season it’s a good idea to be extra vigilant about your household cleaning. High-touch everyday items including the TV remote, light switches and door handles should be wiped down as part of your weekly clean with a disinfectant wipe to help prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses.[v] Remember, clothes can harbor germs too, so if a member of the family has been ill, try adding laundry sanitizer to your wash. When used as directed, it kills 99.9% of bacteria.
Where: The gym
Sharing equipment between lots of people means the gym can be a breeding ground for germs, including cold and flu. Rather than use this an excuse not to go, always make sure you wash your hands with soap when you have finished at the gym and when you get home to help prevent bringing any cold and flu germs back home with you.[vi]
Helping Prevent the Flu for Teenagers
Where: The school bus
As your son or daughter takes the bus to and from school, they are exposed to a host of germs on public transportation. Encourage your children to wash their hands as soon as they get to school. To help prevent bringing flu and cold germs back home, make handwashing with soap after school a house rule.
Where: The classroom
School desks can be home to 400 times more germs than the toilet seat, so it is safe to say they are a hotspot for germs, especially in schools where children are changing classrooms every hour or so. A gentle reminder to your teenager about the importance of regular handwashing, especially before eating, is a good way to help protect them from cold and flu.
Where: Cell phone
Studies have shown that mobile phones carry more germs than a toilet seat. Remind your kids to never use their mobile phones while they are using the bathroom and encourage the whole family to wipe their phones every day with a Lysol® Disinfecting Wipe to help prevent the spread of cold and flu germs.
Helping Prevent the Flu for Children
Where: The school classroom
Close contact with lots of other children at school and sharing pens, pencils or books make the classroom a perfect environment for germs to thrive, particularly cold and flu viruses. Since children’s immune systems are less mature than adults, it is essential that children practice good hand hygiene from a young age, washing their hands with soap and warm water to help prevent flu and cold.
Where: The school toilet
The school toilets are an obvious hotspot for germs. It’s important to remind your children that washing their hands with soap and water after using the bathroom at school is just as important as washing them at home.
Where: The playground
Sharing toys and exploring outside during school breaks means your children can pick up a lot of germs on their hands and shoes. Remind your children that they should always wash their hands with soap and water after playtime and ensure they take their shoes off when coming into the house after school to help prevent spreading flu and cold germs.
Whether it’s at home, at work or at school, it is inevitable that our families will come into contact with germs throughout the day. Being aware of the everyday places your family could encounter cold and flu, and encouraging a good handwashing routine for the whole family, will help prevent flu and cold in your home.