Have you ever had the Norwalk Virus? It's a highly contagious stomach bug causing vomiting and diarrhea, commonly referred to as a "stomach flu." It's gross, and thankfully runs its course fairly quickly, if rather violently. I'll spare you the gory details, but a few years back it went through our household, taking out one after another, within about a 12 hour span. I admit I was patient zero on that one. The experience actually underlined for me the superhuman powers of moms. About 3 hours in to my affliction I was utterly exhausted, empty, and feverish, when I heard my 4 year-old announce, "I feel si..." And there he went. In a flash I cleaned him and the floor, got him into pajamas, grabbed a bucket and took the two of us to bed. Hubs went down at some point later that night.
That one came on so quickly there wasn't much I could do about it. But when H1N1 hit, and my husband picked it up at work, I was more prepared. Aside from basically quarantining him to the couch in his man cave, I set about methodically cleaning all shared surfaces, laundering the sheets on our bed, and strictly enforcing hand washing rules. Everyone else in the family escaped that brutal virus, and I felt victorious! Poor hubs was out for at least 12 days. Don't worry though, I brought him fluids and soup and meds as needed. I may have banished him downstairs, but I'm not a total monster.
Germs are out there, and we are going to be exposed to them. Some exposure is even necessary to help build immunity. Eating a proper diet and maintaining general good health is an important way to prepare our bodies to fight off infection, but we need to take additional steps to eliminate the germs in our environment where we can, especially at this time of year. One of the main tools in my arsenal is the Lysol line of cleaning products. Did you know that Lysol kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses? That kind of power is very welcome during cold and flu season. (Unless you're like my friend in grad school. She looked forward to getting the flu each winter, saying it was the only time she ever got to rest. Yeah. I think she was joking??)
Cleaning shared surfaces - doorknobs, taps, phones, remotes - is an important step in preventing the spread of illness in your home. Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Wipes are great for killing the nasty germs on hard surfaces like these. I actually use the Lysol Wipes regularly for quick clean-ups in the bathroom all year round. They are essential if you have boys - quickest and most effective way to clean up their *cough* "misses" around the toilet.
And never underestimate the importance of careful hand washing. We use the "ABCs" method - sing the song at regular speed and keep scrubbing until you're done. Getting in between the fingers can sometimes be forgotten by little kids, so be sure to watch for that. Question - when you wash your hands, are you sharing a bar of soap with the family? Or is everybody pressing on the same soap pump? Try Lysol Hand Soap in the No-Touch dispenser. Place your hand under the nozzle and the dispenser gives you just the right amount of soap each time. No waste, and no surface contact to pass along cold or flu germs.
Another really important tip - never share toothbrushes (kind of obvious), and always toss your toothbrush after an illness. You do not want to reinfect with germy bristles.
Lysol has more tips online for keeping your family healthy during cold and flu season, and while you're there be sure to print the coupons for savings on Lysol products.
If you'd like more information or just want with connect with Lysol, head over and check them out on Facebook.