How to Help Protect Your Family During Cold and Flu Season: 4 Easy Cleaning Tips
5 minute read
Perhaps nothing gets a parent more concerned than a small, red, and sniffly nose. Now, you have to worry about the health of the entire family.
Children, particularly children under the age of 5 years old, are at the highest risk for developing cold and flu, as well as additional complications1. Pneumonia, dehydration, long-term sinus issues, and more are often related to the flu2. From 2010 to 2020, the CDC estimated that anywhere from 6,000 to 27,000 children younger than 5 were hospitalized in the United States because of colds and flu1.
Cold and flu season is around the corner, but luckily we have some cleaning tips and easy habits to help you protect your family and help prevent spreading germs in your home.
1. Wash your hands!
Probably one of the easiest ways to prevent getting and spreading a cold or flu is to regularly wash your hands. We are often handling food, taking out garbage, cleaning bathrooms, changing dirty diapers, handling our pets, etc. These are all key times when you can come into contact with and spread germs.
And for those with a baby at home, while they may not be handling a lot of toys just yet, they are mouthing and putting those adorable germ-covered fingers into their mouths.
Begin teaching this healthy habit and provide your family with the Safer Choice option, ECOS Hypoallergenic Hand Soap, and follow the CDC’s five steps for handwashing3!
- Wet your hands in clean, running water. Turn off the tap and apply the hand soap.
- Lather their hands (and yours!) by rubbing them together.
- Scrub your baby’s hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse off their hands under clean, running water.
- Dry their hands in a lint-free clean towel or let them air dry.
2. Clean often-touched surfaces in your home frequently
Aside from our hands that touch everything, think about all the other surfaces in your home that may be potential cold and flu germ carriers.
TV remotes, faucet handles, touch-screen tech (especially if you let your little ones play on the iPad!) toothbrush handles and holders, and your office desk–the list can go on, but these are just some of the spots that are high-traffic and high-risk.
Let’s not forget our children’s toys! Considering how often children’s toys get touched with sticky fingers, or even mouthed by little ones, our kids’ toys deserve extra attention. In our How to Clean Baby Toys: 6 Eco-Conscious Tips, we walk you through easy tips to wash soft plush toys, clean electronics, plastic and wooden toys plus more, using our ECOS plant-powered cleaning products.
3. Have pets at home? Here’s what you need to know
Of course not all sniffles are the cold or flu. If your child, someone at home, or even you are susceptible to pet-related allergies, there are ways to live with your pet and reduce your symptoms! Dander, which is found in all forms of pets from dogs to birds, carries a specific protein that people can be allergic to.
But you live with them, how do you manage the dander and dirt? Here are four tips4:
- Create a pet-free zone in your home
This can be a family room or family members’ bedrooms to help prevent dirt and dander from getting onto those surfaces.
- Consider getting a HEPA filter
These filters help remove tiny airborne pollutants like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander from the air you breathe at home.
- Clean. Clean. Clean.
Where your pet goes, chances are dirt and dander follow so you may want to get into the weekly practice of cleaning the surfaces your pet touches with our ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner!
- Wash your pets regularly
Reduce the amount of dander, dirt, and germs that your pet brings indoors by regularly washing them, at least once per week. Just like our precious babies, pets also have sensitive skin and can be susceptible to harsh chemicals and ingredients. Our ECOS Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo can provide a thorough clean while soothing your pet’s skin with plant-derived vitamin E.
4. Wash your clothes
Our children’s clothing in particular can pick up plenty of germs. Think about it: they are crawling, touching their clothes, or rubbing their noses with their sleeves, and all around just getting messy.
Small babies and children have sensitive skin so when washing their clothing, consider a safer detergent that is free of added fragrances like our ECOS Hypoallergenic Detergent in Free & Clear.
Prepare for Cold and Flu Season, the ECOS Way
Don’t let cold and flu season catch you off guard or scare you either! ECOS provides you and your family with plant-powered, eco-conscious cleaning products to help protect the wellness of your family.
Our mission is to bring families safer, sustainable, and affordable cleaning products. Additionally, we want to help you learn how to maximize the use of our products so you can achieve a healthier lifestyle. For more of our cleaning tips and to learn about our full line of ECOS eco-conscious cleaning products, check out the Clean Living Blog!
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect Against Flu: Caregivers of Infants and Young Children. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/infantcare.htm
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Symptoms & Complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/symptoms.htm
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. When and How to Wash Your Hands. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
- The Humane Society of the United States. How to Live with Allergies and Pets. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/how-live-allergies-and-pets