- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Flu Epidemic Precautions-Disinfecting your home for your health
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I am that paranoid mother, and I want to make sure that what I use to clean my home and things that my kids play with and or touch often; is safe and does what
New estimations on the number of people that have been infected by the flu this year has been release; 22 million people have been infected, 5,000 people have died, 36,000 children have been hospitalized; it is no wonder that the ‘Swine Flu’ is considered an epidemic, and this years flu season has been branded as being the worst flu season in the past decade.
It is no secret that the H1N1 vaccine is in short supply, and so far it is being reserved for patients that are considered to be high risk. High risk includes pregnant woman and children. Infants as young as 6 months of age are able to receive the vaccine and it is being encouraged that parents do so. My children have not yet been able to receive their vaccines, because I had questions that were not answered. They wanted to give my son, both the H1N1 and the regular flu vaccine together. I was told by an employee at Methodist Specialty and TransplantHospital, that they are advising their patients not to receive the vaccine together-specially if the patient is already ill. That particular day, both my children were ill, and both had just been diagnosed with Scarlet Fever. I told the doctor I wanted to hold off on tormenting my children and I would bring them in when they were well.
In the mean time-I want to keep both of them as well as myself and my husband from getting the flu. We all know to wash our hands, change sheets often, wash the kid’s toys and we are all made to believe that Lysol disinfecting spray is ‘Gods Gift” to the paranoid mother. I am that paranoid mother, and I want to make sure that what I use to clean my home and things that my kids play with and or touch often; is safe and does what it should do. I don’t have hours upon hours to scrub down my entire home every other day. The idea of Lysol Disinfectant Spray - is “Gods Gift”- Spray and Go, right? NOPE!!! I found some information on Lysol Disinfecting Spray , which I did not realize or ever think to consider. IF YOU DO NOT WIPE OFF LYSOL (or other products comparable to it) IT CAN AND DOES CREATE MOLD, AND IT CAN AND IT DOES CAUSE ILLNESS. I asked over 20 people if they new this and each one of them said no-then they asked, well if you cant just spray and leave it-and must make sure to wipe off everything after, what is the point? You can just do what we use to do, and that is a little bleach a bucket of water and about half, if not more, of your day-in your children’s room sanitizing everything. Unfortunately, like most people-I don’t have enough time to do half of what I need to do as it is-where am I supposed to find that kind of time? Luck would have it; I don’t have to.
I found a new product called SaniGuard -it comes as a spray, but a spray that does not require the user to use the additional step of wiping off the spray from any surface it was used on. It does not leave a residue, it does not leave anything wet, it is a dry on contact spray which means it is safe for anything including electronics, fabrics and wood. It kills 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria.
I also found this same product in the form of a fogger. Just as you would fog your home to kill fleas that your pet brought in- you fog your home and kill 99.9% of germs that have found their way in. The 8oz fogger treats 625 sq ft of space-the 3oz 155 sq ft. What appealed to me most about the idea of the fogger is that it gets into all the little cracks and crevices in your home-you release the fogger, and in 15 minutes you return back to a sanitized environment. I haven’t been able to find either of these products in stores, just on the web. I searched a few sites and called half a dozen companies to get prices on them. So far the best price I have found was at Bexar Supply. They are located in Texas-but have various warehouses they ship their products from. They are selling the 10oz spray and/or the 8oz fogger for $10 each compared to the $13-$16 I saw from other places. I call their office for the price-and to confirm that they carried it (their site is under construction so some of the products can be missing at any given time).
If you are trying to avoid a cold, the flu or just kooties, take special precautions when you are doing everyday things. Of course wash your hands. Hand washing is a must. Think of how many things you touch that hundreds of other people have touched before you. We would all like to think that everyone washes their hands after using the little girls or little boys room, but face it-there are some nasty people out there-assume the worst. When doing the dishes-at a little bit of bleach. I would recommend not washing dishes that are being washed in bleach water in a black ensemble, but other that maybe having to change a shirt-you have to wash them anyway, not much extra effort is needed to take this extra precaution.
As rude as it may sound, limit hand shakes, hugs and kisses on the cheek when you are greeting someone. Instead nod, or smile big and pretty. If you cough, shield your cough from your company, but don’t use your hand. Use your arm or shoulder. If you are confused, I apologize, ill explain- Don’t use your hand unless you have antibacterial wash in your pocket, because you will not be able to avoid contact with 100% of surfaces before you are able to wash your hands. Cough into your sleeve/ or nestle your head to your shoulder. This keeps you from spreading your grossness to the people around you as well as leaving germs on things that you handle.
Don’t skip baths and showers… Flu season is not the time to cut back on showers. Take a bath or shower daily. Wash your body with antibacterial body wash. Wash from head to toe. Your hands are not the only thing that can carry germs. The clothes that you remove from your body-put them in a hamper. Don’t leave dirty or soiled clothing thrown around your home, especially if other people live their. Put them in a hamper, and when you are ready to do the wash, take them from hamper to washing machine. Clean your hamper regularly. Dirty Clothes put into the hamper, result in the hamper becoming dirty. Clean it!!!
If you are a mother of small children; think about the last time you went grocery shopping. Did your child put their mouth on the shopping cart? Did they touch the shopping cart and then rub their eyes, pick their nose or suck their thumb? Now, think about what they just put into their bodies. Buy one of those cute activity covers that cover the shopping cart. Not only will it shield them a little more from being exposed to any viruses or bacteria-it will give them something to mess with and, you may even get that extra 10 minutes of time before they start going nuts and you have to rush to the checkout and then out of the store. If you can’t get one, or if your child won’t sit in the cart, carry a little bottle of disinfecting spray. I usually spray the cart with the disinfectant and then wipe the disinfectant off with a disinfectant wipe. I figure it can’t hurt?
Don’t let your kids share drinks with one another, not even you. Sippy cups and pacifiers should be picked up and asked for by your child when they are wanted. If you just let the cup be set down, someone else will help themselves to it. Tooth brushes… When you get sick, when they get sick, replace the toothbrush. If you are not sick-replace it anyway. I typically toss my toothbrush every 2-3 months-if I am well, when I get sick, I toss it as soon as I have begun antibiotics, or am symptom free. Even if your child only brushes their teeth once a week, replace it as well.
For parents with kids in daycare…Most daycares require you to take your child’s blanket that they use for naptime home every Friday, so it can be washed. We grab our children’s home every night this time of year. They do not sleep with it that night-and unless it is washed, don’t take it back to school the following day-they are given a different, clean replacement. Sheets- Change sheets often, especially if you don’t shower before bed. You don’t have to do it every other day but, at least once a week. My husbands and I change ours, once a week-the kids have their sheets washed twice each week. Car seats should also be washed more often. Those things get nasty quick, probably wouldn’t hurt if this was something that you decided to carry on-even when there isn’t a flu epidemic.
Don’t leave used tissues laying around, although your child may appreciate the mess inside the tissue you left for them to investigate-they do not need it; throw them in the trash.
We all wash our hands and every mother I know has a little bottle of disinfectant hand gel in their purse and car. This flu season, it does not seam like that will be enough to keep our families well. I always appreciate it when others let me know something such as this-just because I can then determine if it is right for me and my family. Hopefully, this bit of information is found useful for some of the readers that come across it.
Good luck-and stay well…