It is important for all of us to do what we can for prevention.
- WASH YOUR HANDS!!!! WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!WASH YOUR HANDS!!!! Washing hands is the first line of defense and super easy. We all need to do a better job of this, especially now. Use soap and water as the first line of defense. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is fine for when soap and water is not available.
- Keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. That’s the door to the body for influenza germs. This will be harder to teach to our youngest ones.
- Cover up that cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve- “The Dracula”. Germs die in the material and don’t get spread to everything you handle. Be sure to still wash your hands. If tissues are used get them into the wastebasket and wash up.
- Stay at home and avoid contact with others if you are sick.
***** Proper Hand Washing*****
To be sure all surfaces of the hand are cleaned – have children work up bubbles to cover all the parts of their hands.
- Wets hands with warm, running water and apply liquid soap.
- Rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces and fingers – fingers wide, (interweave) cross together to make x’s, move those x’s up and down, then close fingers and rub the palms together. Be extra careful to wash back of the hands and the full length of the thumb.
- Scrub nails by rubbing them against the palms of your hands – scrub nails from finger tips to wrist multiple times, switching hands -“Tickle Fingers”
- Rub backs of each hand
- Rinse your hands with running water
- Dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel and use it to turn off the faucet.
For children, 15 seconds can be reached by saying the ABC’s, counting to at least 20, or singing a favorite finger song like ‘itsy,bitsy spider’.
Scrubbing nails on the palm is probably new to most of us, but kids have fun with it real quickly.
*****Is it cold or flu?*****
They are so similar in symptoms. Flu symptoms are fever, cough, runny nose, muscle pain. With the flu you really feel pretty achy all over. Fever is another strong sign, especially with children that may not be able to tell us how their body is feeling. Not as common, but at times there is also nausea and diarrhea. Remember true FLU is a respiratory illness, not the stomach upset we often refer to as the flu.
The flu virus is spread when contaminated droplets exit the mouth and nose of the one infected and make contact with someone healthy. It is important to disinfect door knobs, light switches, phones, computers, toys and any other surfaces that are commonly touched around your house.
Here are the recipes for non-toxic cleaning sprays that I use year-round to disinfect every surface within our space:
- Fill a 16 ounce spray bottle almost to the top with water. Add 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 20 – 30 drops of tea tree oil, and shake to mix. Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic qualities. This is great to use on doorknobs, sink handles, phones, and other commonly handled surfaces.
- By itself, vinegar is not a disinfectant, but when used with hydrogen peroxide, it kills bacteria more effectively than any commercial cleaner. In spray bottle that keeps sunlight out (I covered a bottle with solid contact paper), put 3 % hydrogen peroxide. In another bottle, put straight white vinegar. Spray one after the other (order does not matter) on desired surface. Leave several minutes and wipe clean. Can use water to wipe down or just a clean cloth.
- This is a “mix as use” disinfecting recipe: 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide(3%). Just wipe on or spray and let dry. (I usually mix in a bowl and then wipe down any surface want to disinfect.)
Additional non-toxic home cleaning recipes.
For the little extra time cleaning with a disinfectant adds to your daily routine the benefits are huge – a healthier family and home environment.
For recovery: rest, drink plenty of liquids (add in ice chips, light soups, broths), take fever-reducing medication (no aspirin to anyone under 20), and lukewarm sponge baths to relieve further discomfort. Antibiotics are not of any use in the treatment of the flu.