With the ongoing flu season, you might worry even more if you have an unwell family member at home. There is already an overload of information that can be quite confusing. Although it is true that precautionary measures should be taken, you should not panic. Taking a few basic and reliable steps, outlined below help prevent the infection from spreading to other family members.
1) Hygiene Habits for an Unwell Person
Taking precautions and maintaining hygiene is very important for the unwell person. If they have a fever, it’s best for them to stay home and not spread the infection. Wearing a facemask is advisable. Instruct them to cover their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It is advisable that they wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser such as those available from Lifebuoy.
2) Hygiene Habits for Caregivers
To take better care of a loved one, you first need to take care of yourself.
Make sure you wear a facemask when you are around an unwell family member. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands are not washed properly. Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or use a sanitiser. You should also try to keep shared spaces in the home like the living room, bathroom or kitchen, well ventilated.
3) For Surfaces
Germs can travel up to 3 feet after a sneeze, spreading unwanted infections and rest on different surfaces around the home. Some surfaces at home are frequently touched by all family members throughout the day. Also called high-touch surfaces, these include switches, door handles, tables, taps, cabinet handles, toilet seats, flush handles, telephones, laptop keyboards, etc. It is best to clean these surfaces daily.
Use regular household detergent and water to clean the dust or dirt on them. Now that the surfaces are clean, you should also disinfect them. Use a suitable disinfectant, like a bleach-based (sodium hypochlorite) product such as Domex Floor Cleaner, which kills germs. Always test on a small hidden area and rinse to check compatibility first.
4) For Laundry
Not just surfaces, even clothes can retain germs. One of the simplest ways to remove germs from your clothes is to give them a good wash. Washing clothes thoroughly with detergent is good enough to remove germs. You can use a bleach (sodium hypochlorite) like Rin Ala for sheets and clothes. Rin Ala being sodium hypochlorite bleach is recommended to use on white clothes only. Do not use on coloured clothes.
It is important to hold the laundry items away from your body and to wear disposable gloves when washing and bleaching them. If using a washing machine, wash clothes using the appropriate water temperature setting, in accordance with the directions on labels of laundry or clothing items.
After taking off and safely disposing your gloves, clean your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Ensure that the clothes are dried in the sun.
5) For Personal Household Items
Ensure every family member has separate plates, glasses and cups to themselves which are regularly and thoroughly washed using a good dishwash detergent. Even towels or bedding should not be shared between family members and regularly changed. All other household items should be washed thoroughly with soap and water or disinfected after every use.
Follow these crucial, yet simple tips to keep your family safe from infections.