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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cleaning After the Flu

Ugh, the flu.  You know the symptoms – fever and chills, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, body aches.  The real kicker about the flu -- you can be laying completely still, and still your body just hurts all over.  I hate that.  And even though the peak of flu season is still over a month away, the flu is out and about creating havoc and hurt in lots of families.

According to webmd.com, between 5 – 20% of the U. S. population will get the flu.  So what happens if an individual your house gets the flu?  Someone else is going to have to help care for them.  What if that someone is you?  How will you keep from getting the flu?

Flu.gov has some excellent suggestions while your patient is ill, such as creating a sick room and confining that person to the sick room, dedicate one bathroom to the sick person, and so on.  But the bigger thing, I believe, is afterward.  Let’s be honest, if someone is sick then we’re all super careful around them.  But as soon as the symptoms subside, we let our guard down.  Remember, those germs are still hanging around in your house.

This is what I do in addition to normal cleaning and laundry if someone has been sick in our house:

*Make sure all the tissues are properly disposed (My husband has a habit of leaving them lying around) and disinfect where they were laying.
*Thoroughly clean and disinfect the bathroom(s) 
*Wipe down surfaces – bedroom, kitchen counters, etc. – along with light switches and door knobs with disinfectant.
*Wipe off any items – like toys and phones – that they touched.
*Wash all the bed linens, including the pillows.  We never sleep with the decorative comforter.  But if someone is sick, I fold it up and place it in the closet before they even hit the bed.  Everything else is washed before anyone sleeps on it again.

So far my strategy has worked, but what about you?  What cleaning rituals do you follow when someone has been sick in your home? 

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