Sunday, January 24, 2010

Slow the Spread of Winter Germs

It's winter and everyone spends a lot more time indoors. Kids are in school and colds and flu seem to spread through entire communities through schools and workplaces. Eventually, one member of the family is going to come home sick. What can you do to keep the virus from spreading to every member of the family?

The steps are simple and good to practice at all times, but you need to be especially vigilant once the virus steps inside your house.

* Wash your hands - This applies to everyone in the house, not just the ill member. During the course of the day, anyone can touch a surface that the sick family member has touched, so washing hands often will help prevent this method of infection.

* Disinfect surfaces - the telephone, doorknobs, railings, tables - anything that is regularly touched by every family member. If the sick person is a child, wash toys too. If there is a stomach virus going around, be sure to disinfect all bathroom surfaces.

* Keep hand sanitizer handy - encourage everyone to use it whenever they touch surfaces that could harbor germs.

* Limit contact - don't share items like towels and drinking glasses with the sick person.

Remember that the sick person was probably contagious before any symptoms became evident, so don't think you can avoid the germs entirely. However, you can take steps to lower exposure and try to keep the family healthier during this germ-laden season.

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