Bacteria and viruses are survivors. These tiny organisms manage to thrive and spread despite our best efforts to destroy them. How, then, can we win the war against the notorious tummy bugs? There might not be a sure fire solution, but these methods will help you hedge your bets!
- Hand washing is the first, most obvious answer. Washing with soap and water is best, and if you want to make sure you get them all, keep washing while singing the whole ABC song. If you can’t wash, sanitize, whatever it takes, keep those hands clean!
- Use caution when touching things in public. When touching door handles use a paper towel, an elbow or any cover on your hands. Avoid touching hand rails or other surfaces if possible, and if you do, quickly sanitize to eliminate any germs.
- Hesitate on hand shakes. Or sanitize afterwards.
- Shut the toilet lid. Your toilet aerosolizes and spews contents up to 6 feet when flushed. That means if your lid is open, it’s likely that your toothbrush is in the line of fire. Ew! Just get in the habit of shutting the toilet every time.
- If the bug does hit, keep it to one bathroom if possible.
- Sanitize all surfaces in your house, including faucets, light switches, door handles, phones, remotes and keyboards. Anything people regularly touch, spray or wipe with sanitizer.
- Consider changing to paper towels in your bathroom, even just as a temporary measure during illness.
- Throw toothbrushes into the dishwasher or replace them.
- Avoid preparing or sharing food or utensils if you’re sick.
- Turn up the water temperature on your dishwasher and washing machine. Hot water helps eliminate germs. Bleach is the big gun, nothing survives bleach, so don’t be afraid to get it out.
- Did I mention hand washing and sanitizing? It’s really the one best measure you have to prevent all illnesses, not just tummy bugs.
Nothing is foolproof, but you can hedge your bets with a few easy steps. Did I miss anything? Leave it in the comments!