Here are 5 tips to keep germs away this flu season. Thanks to Clorox for sponsoring this post #FluFOMO #SaveTheLikes
Well guys, 2017 did NOT go as planned. One week I was cruising around Disneyland and the next I was in the hospital being diagnosed with leukemia. I did not get to go home and pack a bag. I did not get to kiss my kids goodbye. In fact, I didn’t get to see them for weeks because it was still flu season and the hospital doesn’t allow children under 12 to visit during flu season.
I have spent months in the hospital this year. Vacations and work trips cancelled. Life postponed. It’s safe to say that the Warner family has missed out on ENOUGH for one year. Or five. Or a lifetime. This flu season I’m like, BYE Flu-lecia. BYE! We don’t need you in our home.
When I finally got to come home from my big hospital stay, my amazing nurses prepped me for what I’d need to do to keep myself from getting sick while my immune system was weak. This was the first thing they told me to have waiting when I got home.
Yes. Wiping things down became a habit and a past time while I was stuck in the hospital. Over the last six months, I have developed an awareness of germs that I never had before. With virtually NO immune system, it was imperative for my survival.
Now, as we head into flu season once again, I’m better prepared than I was the last time around and sharing to keep you and your family a little less germy. My friends at Clorox don’t want you to have #FluFOMO and miss out on holiday fun, family trips, date night, or any of that fun this flu season.We also want to help you #SavetheLikes by reminding you about the important steps you can take to help prevent cold and flu, including disinfection.
So here are 5 ways to keep germs away this flu season:
Teach family members to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm
Simple! Even my three year old now does this. Actually, he was the easiest to teach. It’s adults who are harder to train because many have been using their hands to cover for years. Then guess where those hands go? Right! Surfaces like door handles, faucets, etc.
Teaching a young child to do this can be easy and fun. In cooler weather, put a sticker on their shirt in the crook of their arm as a reminder. In the warmer months, you can use a temporary tattoo.
Frequent hand washing
This goes without saying, but I’m saying it. Make hand washing the first thing the entire family does when you come in the door from school, eating out, errands, etc.
You don’t realize how many things you touch that countless people have touched before you until you really start taking inventory. The pen or electronic pen to sign when you’re paying at check out. The door handle of your child’s room at preschool. Lockers at the gym. Elevator buttons, the list goes on and on.
Wipe down communal surfaces on a regular basis
While we can’t control what happens in most public places, we can do more in our own home. At home here are the things I wipe down regularly using Clorox Wipes:
- interior and exterior door handles
- light switches
- kitchen sink faucet and handles
- refrigerator, microwave and toaster oven door handles
- drawer pulls in the kitchen and bathrooms
- bathroom faucets, handles and toilet handle
Get a flu shot
I realize that the flu shot is a source of controversy. And quite frankly, I don’t try to tell anyone else how to live their lives. So if you have a great objection to getting one, we can still be friends. But I will say that my whole family getting one was one of the only serious requests my oncologist made during our last appointment.
You might not know it if you saw me walking down the street, but I am immunocompromised. After months of being bald, I’ve quickly acquired what looks like a pixie cut or a faux hawk depending on the day. I’m not a baby or an elderly person, but I’m one of thousands of people walking around who rely on herd immunity to keep me out of the hospital.
Play defense in public
We can’t control how perfect strangers behave or how they were raised. Otherwise we’d never find a shopping cart abandoned in a parking space and everyone would learn to PULL FORWARD at school drop off. But we can take simple steps to avoid everyone else’s germs.
Pushing elevator buttons at work or the mall? I use my elbow. It’s far less likely to wind up near your mouth or eyes than your hands. Shopping in the same aisle as someone who is hacking up a lung? If you’re not in the world’s biggest rush, leave and get something else on your list. You can circle back after they are gone.
Small changes like these can be big steps in keeping the flu out of your home.
If you visit Clorox’s FluFOMO site, you’ll find more tips like mine, as well as the ability to download their sickweather app that shows you how high or low risk your area is.
Follow @clorox on Twitter, tweet your own #FluFOMO story to them using the hashtags #FluFOMO and #Sweepstakes and you could win a prize pack full of things to say BYE to the flu.