As we usher in a new year, Texas finds itself in the grips of one of the worst flu outbreaks in decades. This has created a lot of fear and anxiety in residents, many of whom are unsure of what to do to protect themselves. While the flu can wreak havoc on even the healthiest individuals, it can be particularly dangerous for those considered high risk, which includes small children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Creating a Healthy Environment
Perhaps you are trying to prevent the flu altogether, or ensure that one family member’s illness does not spread to everyone. Either way, taking steps to make sure that your home is clean and flu-free should be a top priority. Here are 3 tips to create a healthy environment:
1. Take Inventory.
Stock up on cleaning supplies, including disinfectant and antimicrobial cleaners. Mixing a 50/50 mix of bleach and water in a spray bottle works great for hard surfaces, but you can also use 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. If you’d like to avoid harsh chemicals, think about investing in a steam cleaner, since the hot steam disinfects surfaces without the need for additional chemicals. If you have someone in your household who is at a high risk of infection, consider household bacteria testing to help you gauge what dangerous bacteria might be lurking close by.
2. Wash Your Hands.
With the popularity of hand sanitizers, many believe that hand washing isn’t necessary anymore. However, most doctors and scientists agree that hand washing is more effective at removing microbes from your hands. Hand sanitizer should be used as a substitute only if you’re unable to wash with soap and warm water.
3. Make Smart Swaps.
Instead of using sponges to clean, use rags that you can wash in hot water after each use. Consider washing the bedding and clothes in hot water, instead of the standard cold setting. Cough or sneeze into your elbow, rather than into your hand. Swap out your room deodorizer for an oil diffuser. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties and a few drops will easily clean the air in a room.
Start the Year Healthy
It’s much easier to control your own home than it is to control the world around you. Remember that sick individuals should remain home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. This will help prevent further spread of the virus. If we all take additional steps to ensure the health of our homes and families, we can slow the spread of the flu this year. Contact us to learn more!