The kids are back in school, giving you some much-needed peace and quiet at home. However, sending your little ones out of the house exposes them to countless germs; before you know it, they could be stuck at home with a nasty cold or flu. Follow these tips to keep your kids healthy.
Emphasize Hand Washing
People often touch their eyes, nose, and other sensitive areas without realizing it. Even one absentminded motion can make it easy for bacteria to sneak into the body and cause sickness. That is why it is so important to teach your children to wash their hands. This involves more than simply reminding them to wash before they eat, after using the toilet, or after handling anything that is dirty.
You need to teach them proper technique. Be sure they wet their hands, lather them with soap, scrub for 20 seconds (roughly the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), rinse, and then dry with a clean towel.
Change Your Home’s HVAC Filter
Your home’s HVAC system does more than keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It also has a filter that keeps the air in your home clean. It prevents things like dust and pollen from invading your house and irritating sensitive eyes, noses, and throats.
Most HVAC systems should have their filters changed at least once every three months, but the requirements for your system could be different. Look at the manufacturer’s instructions to learn more.
Take Other Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality
In addition to making sure your home’s HVAC system stays in good working order, be sure to take other measures to clean the air in your home:
- Avoid cleaning products that have harsh chemicals. Look for ones with natural ingredients.
- Keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent. An air conditioner can help with dehumidification.
- Regularly clean your floors so dust and bacteria are less likely to get stirred up when people walk from room to room.
Your children may race in the door after school, taking with them whatever filth their shoes picked up during the day. Get them in the habit of taking their shoes off as soon as they walk inside. This is especially important if you have carpets in your home since the fibers can collect bacteria that may not even come out when you have the carpets professionally cleaned.
If you need any more motivation to impose a no-shoes rule in your home, consider this. The University of Arizona conducted a study on the bacteria found on the bottom of shoes. As reported by Lifehack, the study found 421,000 different units of bacteria, including nine strains that cause infections in the lungs, eyes, and stomach.
Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to prevent your kids from getting sick, but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. Teach your children good habits and keep the air in your home clean so you and your little ones don’t have to slow down life for a back to school illness.