Thursday, September 29, 2011

Decontamination Station

Poor Stevo has been sick for the last couple of days. And this guy NEVER gets sick- so to see him literally not be able to get out of bed for almost 72 hours made me a little nervous. We don't know for sure if it was food poisoning or a virus, but I wasn't taking any chances. I definitely didn't want Anna catching it, and I sure as heck didn't want to catch it either. Today was the first day Steve ventured back to the office, and I took the opportunity to disinfect the house.

And, since we're heading into prime cold and flu season, I thought I'd share my disinfection and stay-healthy strategies. If you have other tips, I'd love to hear those too! Let's keep those little ones healthy!

1) Sanitize ALL hard surfaces. I grab a container of the disinfecting disposable wipes, and these are perfect to carry around the house and wipe down all hard surfaces. Light switches, computers, stair banisters (make sure your wipes are safe to use on the wood!), lamp switches, door knobs, kitchen appliances, counters, telephones, car steering wheels...anything that the sickie may have touched needs a good wipe-down.

2) Bleach those sheets. Even though the bedding always gets washed on Mondays, so it had just gotten washed, I tossed all the sheets and blankets into the wash on the hottest cycle my machine offers. I also used bleach for everything.

3) Wash the toys. I use hot water and soap on any of the toys that I can, and the rest I wipe down with food-safe sanitizing wipes (or pacifier wipes). You can even toss them in the dishwasher if they are the right size! I usually try to at least wipe all this stuff down once a week, but it couldn't hurt to give them another good cleaning.

4) Change the air filters. We haven't done this one yet but we're due for a change anyway, so we're going to step up the filter quality for the cold and flu season.

5) Change out your toothbrushes. Always a good idea after you've gotten over any kind of illness!

6) Wash your hands. Another obvious one, but it never hurts to double check that all the sinks have full soap dispensers. And mommas, don't hesitate to ask guests to wash their hands before playing with the baby. If anyone gets offended, just say that you're thrilled they're willing to come over and take care of a screaming, clingy sick baby for the next week! It's also a good idea to get some new bottles of hand sanitizer for your purse or diaper bag.

7) Sanitize grocery carts and high chairs. I always keep a package of Wet Wipes (the disinfecting kind) in my purse. I'm sure plenty of people roll their eyes when they see me wiping all that stuff down before Anna sits in it, but I don't care. It takes 2 seconds and if it gets rid of any germs or viruses, it sounds like a good time investment to me!

8) Get Your Shots. Anna just got her first round of the flu shot, and Stevo and I are going to get ours too as soon as he's fully better. Most drug stores and even grocery stores (around here, at least) offer the flu shot very inexpensively, or check with your insurance company or even your work to see if they sponsor flu shots.

9) Eat Those Veggies! Well, and fruits. One of the good things about a global market is that you can pretty much get most vegetables and fruits throughout the year. And they provide great immune-building vitamins. So...eat them.

10) Stock that medicine cabinet. Go ahead and take a few minutes now to clean out your medicine cabinet. Toss any meds that expired and jot down a quick list of what you need to re-stock. Don't forget the baby's medicine cabinet! I've been adding to it recently, although Anna's generally been really healthy, in preparation for flu season. It's a little frustrating having to run out (or send the hubby) in the middle of the night to get a medicine! Infant Tylenol, Infant Ibuprofen, Pedialyte, a good infant thermometer, a good humidifier...all of that stuff is good stuff to stock and have in case you need it.

Wow that ended up being a lot longer than I intended it to be. Here's to avoiding the flu and staying healthy this year!

1 comment:

Robin said...

These are great tips and I will be doing many of these same things in preparation for the upcoming flu season. Although, Eva woke up today with what we thought were bad allergies, but now I am thinking she has a cold as she is running a fever now too :(