Flu-proof your home

 We sorted through the research to find the smart ways you can protect your clan from colds and flu at home.

1. Disinfect surprising surfaces.

After someone gets sick, you’re diligent about washing the sheets and spraying down the coffee table, but don’t forget to clean all the common spaces. Scientists at the University of Virginia discovered that some of the most-infected areas in the home included fridge handles, doorknobs, remote controls, light switches, bathroom faucets and dishwasher handles. Since viruses can live on surfaces for up to eight hours, it’s smart to do a deep clean of your home.

2. Choose the right cleaners.

To effectively kill those flu-causing viruses, look for wipes labeled “anti-virus.” According to British researchers, these sanitizing wipes are more effective than the garden varieties. If you’re on a budget, pick up a disinfecting spray. Or whip up a solution on your own from bleach or vinegar, both of which are proven virus-killers. (Just don’t mix the two ingredients together.)

3. Start a hand-washing rule.

It’s no secret that scrubbing up is the No.1 way to fend off the sniffles. Teach your children how to wash up properly with soap and water, making sure to scrub all surfaces (don’t forget beneath nails, between fingers and on the backs of the hands) for at least 20 seconds. Then make sure that every member of your family hits the sink as soon as they enter the home; after bathroom breaks and sneezes; and before meals.

4. Run a humidifier.

Cold and flu viruses thrive in chilly, dry atmospheres, reports a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Running a humidifier adds moisture to the air, which may deter the spread of those germs. Bonus: The added moisture keeps your nasal passages from drying out, so you can breathe easier.

5. Set out the tissues.

Just one sneeze can spray cold and flu infected droplets six feet! To prevent the spread of germs in your home, teach your little ones how to sneeze into their elbows or a tissue. And don’t forget to remind them to immediately toss those used tissues into the trash.

(Sharon Liao for Beauty and Confidence)

(Picture: woman with cleaning products from Shutterstock)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 329 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4210 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 604 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.