Sick Child? How to Limit the Spread of Illness in Your Home
The flu, chicken pox, and other contagious illnesses are no fun for kids or parents. When one child gets sick in your house, it’s only a matter of time until everyone catches it. If you have very little ones in your home, the risk of getting sick is much higher. New parents may feel like they’re constantly disinfecting, sanitizing, and spraying every surface to keep colds and flu at bay.
Children in daycare are more likely to contract something because they’re around so many other kids who may be exposed to sick people themselves. Whether children have friends over frequently or not can determine how quickly an illness spreads as well.
There are practical steps that can help reduce the risk of contracting an infection or spreading it to others. You can do some simple things to help prevent illness from spreading like wildfire. The best way to stop the spread of sickness in your home is simply by keeping germs at bay. From basics like hand washing to cough medicine for kids, let’s take a look at five ways you can help keep your whole family from getting sick.
1. Make Sure Everyone Washes Their Hands
Washing hands is the simplest, most cost-effective way to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure everyone in your home washes their hands before eating and after using the restroom, especially if they have cuts or scratches on their hands that could easily become infected.
All you need is water and soap to wash your hands; it doesn’t matter if it’s warm or cold water, or liquid or bar soap. Lather for at least 30 seconds. This is long enough for the soap to break down dirt and germs and leave hands clean. When washing your hands, be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Germs can easily hide in these places, so be sure to scrub them out.
2. Cover Those Coughs
Every time you cough, you blast 3,000 potentially infected droplets right out where others can inhale them. Keeping coughs under control is one of the easiest ways to stop germs from filling the air. While most grown-ups are accustomed to covering their mouths when they cough, getting your kids to do it can seem like a never-ending battle.
If your little ones are having a hard time remembering to cover their mouths when they cough, one alternative for your kids is cough medicine. They can’t spread infected droplets by coughing if they aren’t coughing to start with.
3. Install a Humidifier
Humidity levels in the air are essential to your health, especially during the colder months. Dry air can cause irritated sinuses, bloody noses, and cracked lips. It can also increase viral transmission.
Keeping a humidifier in your home can help. Humidifiers also help people with allergies and asthma. A humidifier will help you breathe easier in the winter when allergies are more common due to the low humidity. If your kids are still coughing, children’s cough medicine may be able to help.
4. Wash Bedding and Curtains with Hot Water
Most people wash their bedding once a week, but you’ll be doing yourself a favor by washing it more often. You should be washing the bedding in your children’s rooms every two weeks, and the curtains every three weeks. This will help keep germs at bay and make it easier to keep your kids healthy.
If you have kids who share a room, you may want to increase that to once a week. Children are more likely to get sick, and their immune systems aren’t fully developed, so they’re more likely to contract an illness. Cough medicine for your kids may also help keep down the number of germs in the air.
5. Don’t Forget to Clean Often-Neglected Areas
Make sure you clean places that can easily be forgotten, like the back of your fridge, your kitchen floor, and the top of your fridge. If kids have access to the fridge, they’re more likely to touch the door and spread germs to everything inside. Children’s cough medicine may help the spread of germs in your kitchen. When cleaning these areas, use a disinfectant that has a high enough kill rate to prevent the spread of sickness.
Stop the Spread
There isn’t a magic formula or potion that will make your home cleaner or keep germs at bay. What you need is a plan of action to control the spread of illness by tending to chores, staying on top of frequent cleaning tasks, as well as implementing some new habits to inhibit the growth of potential pathogens.
Make sure everyone washes their hands and keeps their coughing under control, install a humidifier, wash bedding and curtains with hot water, and don’t forget to clean often-neglected areas.