Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The 7 best ways to banish germs

It doesn't take a germ warrior to keep a family well protected from bug-borne illness. Just follow these seven basic, important steps:

1Wash hands at strategic times
Teach your children to wash their hands before eating and after going to the bathroom, petting an animal, or playing outside.

2Don’t skimp on scrubbing
Do hand washing right: With soap and water, it takes 20 seconds of scrubbing to kill the germs that need to be killed.

3Carry a handy cleaner
Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you for visits to playgrounds, mall food courts, and other places where a sink might not be handy. Be sure to cover every part of the hand, including under the nails, if possible.

4Squelch the scariest germs
After preparing meat or poultry, wash cutting boards with hot, soapy water and spray countertops with disinfectant. The bacteria commonly found on raw meats – including campylobacter, salmonella, and E. coli – are more dangerous than any other germs you're likely to have in the house.

5Tend injuries with TLC
Wash small cuts and scrapes with soap and water. Apply an antibacterial ointment, put on a bandage, and change the bandage every day until the wound heals.

6Stop germs at the door
Make sure your children are up-to-date on their vaccinations, including their yearly flu shot or nasal spray flu vaccine. A child in daycare or school who's been vaccinated against the flu is less likely to bring home a bug that can infect the entire family.

7Do a wipe-down
If someone in your house is sick, take a moment to clean doorknobs, television remotes, toys, and other items your children touch throughout the day. Use a household cleaner or make your own by combining 1 tablespoon of bleach with 1 quart (4 cups) of water.

by Chris Woolston 

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