It is worrisome to see your child go out to play or study during the flu season. Different people and sources will give you different tips to protect your child from germs and all this can seem too confusing. But, instead of stopping them from having fun, include these habits in your daily life to protect them from ailments.
1) For Personal Hygiene
Practice good personal hygiene, as children tend to emulate their elders. Make sure you wash your hands frequently using soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser such as those available from Lifebuoy. Please do this before and after making meals for the family, before and after eating, after using the bathroom, etc.
Lovingly and patiently teach your kids to do the same. Gently remind them till the habit of washing their hands after coming home (from school, classes, the park, etc.) is ingrained in them. Every time you cough or sneeze, make sure you cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow (if a tissue is not available). Discard the tissue in the dustbin and teach your kid to do the same. It also helps if shared spaces, like the living room, bathroom or kitchen are airy and well ventilated.
2) For Surfaces in Your Home
Germs can travel up to 3 feet after a sneeze, spreading unwanted infections and rest on different surfaces. 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, toys and play equipment, etc. It is best to clean and disinfect these surfaces daily along with the outdoor play area surfaces.
Use a regular household detergent and water to clean the dust or dirt from these surfaces. After cleaning, 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.
3) For Laundry
Germs don’t reside only on surfaces but also on clothes. Ensure that all clothes, including your kids’ school uniforms, dirty play clothes, the family’s clothes, are thoroughly washed. 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 a sodium hypochlorite bleach is recommended to use on white clothes only. Do not use on coloured clothes.
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. Ensure that the clothes are dried in the sun and fold them.
4) For Personal Household Items
Ideally, every family member should have separate dishes, glasses, cutlery, tiffin boxes – which are regularly and thoroughly washed using a good dishwash detergent. Even towels or bedding should ideally not be shared amongst family members. All other household items should be washed thoroughly with soap and water or disinfected after every use.
Follow these simple yet effective tips to keep your kids and your family safe from infections.