Holiday parties and family gatherings are right around the corner. So it is important than ever to be mindful of how to protect yourself against germs and viruses. The most popular time for flu season is December through March, but with COVID-19 still in the picture, it is even more crucial that we stay healthy. Ahead of what experts warn could be a problematic cold and flu season, here are some quick tips to help make sure holiday cheer is the only thing you’re spreading this winter.
Handwashing: It Might Seem Too Simple to Be True
This flu season, one of the most effective measures you can take is frequently washing your hands. Might seem too simple, right? According to the Global Handwashing Partnership, handwashing is known to help reduce the spread of outbreak-related pathogens and can reduce acute respiratory infections by 20%. At holiday gatherings spent in close contact with family and friends, germs can easily spread. Note the following key times to wash your hands:
- Before and after preparing or eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After using the toilet
- After taking out the trash, or handling garbage
When soap and water are not within reach, consider using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. If little kids are around, make sure their use of sanitizers is supervised – and make sure the product is out of reach of their little hands.
Be the Hygienic Host!
If you are hosting this holiday season, keep yourself and your guests clean and healthy with these basic disinfecting tips. A survey from the American Cleaning Institute found that 42% of Americans do not use disinfectants properly. When using a disinfectant spray, it is critical to pre-clean the surface before you disinfect to remove the excess dirt and grime. Once you spray, let the surface air dry making sure it stays wet for as long as the label recommends – a key step to ensure you kill those germs.
Before your guests arrive, prioritize disinfecting key frequently touched surfaces, like door knobs, light switches, TV remotes, etc., and focus on important areas of the home, like the kitchen, bathroom and dining room. Keep disinfectant wipes within arm’s reach in kitchens and bathrooms for quick clean up and tackle those commonly touched surfaces, and have a multi-purpose cleaner on hand (but out of reach of those younger guests) for a quick cleaning.
Hit the Road and Take to the Skies with the Supplies You Need to Stay Healthy
According to a recent AAA survey, it is estimated that 53.4 million people will be travelling for the holidays. If you’re on the road, access to a bathroom with soap and water sometimes just isn’t possible. Before you hop in the Uber or board your flight, make sure you have hand sanitizer or hand wipes handy.
We would also recommend packing disinfecting wipes in your bag to wipe down seats, seat-belts, tray tables and other frequently touch surfaces along your way.
This cold and flu season, gather and travel safely. Visit www.cleaninginstitute.org for more cleaning and hygiene tips.