It’s a new season, but the same routine: flu viruses run rampant, you stock up on OTC medications and liquids, and get what rest you can. You also want to keep the rest of your home from getting sick, and there are 5 methods to follow that will help:

  • QUARANTINE: when someone has the flu, they can infect someone up to 6 feet away by coughing, sneezing, or even talking! Depending on the virus, this infectious period will last 5 to 7 days, or longer if you’re dealing with kids. Keeping the sick person confined to one room and bathroom will help limit how much of your home is exposed to the virus, and how many rooms you’ll have to disinfect.


  • CLEAN INFECTED AREAS: it’s important to still clean the rooms the sick family member is using, every day. Common areas like bedside tables, toilets, doorknobs, countertops, and light switches, remote controls/gaming controls, and toys will need to be cleaned with an antibacterial solution. You can also line trash containers with plastic grocery bags ahead of time, to replace daily, to minimize contact with germs. When you can, open windows for a little fresh air.


  • CLEAN TOOTHBRUSHES: although you cannot give yourself the flu again by using your toothbrush, you can still infect others in the household. You don’t need to replace toothbrushes – you can simply run it under hot water or soak it in an antibacterial mouthwash for a few minutes. After each use, thoroughly rinse it and allow it to air dry away from other toothbrushes.


  • STERILIZE SPONGES: it’s a known fact that kitchen sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, and that germs can be spread when they’re used to clean multiple areas. By microwaving wet sponges on high for a couple of minutes every day, you can significantly reduce the spread of germs.


  • LAUNDRY SAFEGUARDS: use a separate hamper or basket to bring your sick family member’s clothes, bedding, and towels to and from the laundry room. Carrying or “hugging” the laundry against you while doing so can spread their germs to you! Because the moist insides of the machine are a common breeding ground for bacteria, you should run an empty cycle on hot water and add bleach to the dispenser after doing their laundry. Run a second cycle to ensure all the bleach is gone.

It’s never fun being sick (or taking care of someone who is!) but you can make things much easier on yourself and your household in the long run!