Many of us are learning now, that germs require constant control. They are so easy to spread, even as adults, we have difficulty controlling them. As a mother of six, it’s essential to get a handle on sickness as soon as it arises. With such a big family, the common cold can be a mother’s worst nightmare. Even with a well-balanced diet, it is still not enough to keep your children from getting sick. Listed below are 11 things I do to prevent viruses from spreading child to child. When I suspect we have all been exposed to virus/flu, I automatically begin my disinfecting routine. Please note: I am a bleach lover, so it’s what I like to use to disinfect with. Other products that are good to use are Pine-Sol and Lysol products.
- Open A Window: This is just a mother’s instinct here. I cannot tell you what prompts me to open a window when one of my children is sick, but it’s my go-to thing. I feel like I’m letting the sickness out of the room when I do this. Reminder: children with a fever may need to be placed in a different room or covered as they may become cold during this process.
- Clean Bed Sheets & Pillow Cases: When I start to notice my children getting sick in one room. I immediately begin stripping the bed sheets and pillowcases. During this time, I also wipe their beds down with bleach, as well as the mattresses. I recommend using a much–diluted version of bleach here.
- Cribs/Play Yards: When cleaning play yards, make sure the bed is completely dry before putting sheets on.
- Wipe Door Knobs, Light Switches, Banisters, & Walls: Seems kind of redundant, I know, but have you ever just stopped and looked at your walls? Especially the surrounding areas of light switches? They are covered in dirt and high traffic areas for little hands.
- Coats/Jackets/Hats: I recently read that typically you should wash your coats/jackets at least twice a season. Which, to me, with young children isn’t enough. So anytime a sickness breaks out at home, I make sure to give their coats a good wash.
- Clean Bathrooms! Now, in large houses, I would not recommend cleaning bathrooms that your children do not frequent (obviously clean them during your regular cleaning routine). Meaning, toilets that are used often should be your focus. The main bathrooms will be cleaned and wiped down with bleach about 2-3 times during a sick week. There is nothing wrong with cleaning every bathroom during this time. However, it can be time-consuming for large homes. If you want to clean all the bathrooms during this time, go for it.
- Sanitize/Replace Toothbrushes: Replacing toothbrushes can be very costly for parents with large families. So if you can afford to replace toothbrushes with every cold/virus/flu, go for it! However, depending on what type of month we are having, we can get hit with two colds in one month. So of course I’m not buying 12 toothbrushes for one month. So occasionally, I will sanitize with boiling water & vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
- Wipe Down Everyday Multi-Surfaces: At least 2-4 times a day, I wipe down tabletops, high chairs, counters, refrigerators, and windows, because, for some reason, my children just like to touch these things. I also wipe down anything that starts looking like it is filled with scuff marks and handprints. It seems that at the ages of 1-7, children are very touchy. Tip: A excellent chore for children.
- Wipe Tablets/iPads
- Go Over Hand Washing/Germ Spreading: Children need constant reminders about rules, safety, and procedures. This is a great time to remind them about germs and how they spread. Along with the importance of frequency of handwashing. Especially now, with everything that is going on in the world. I tell my children to sing their ABC’s or count to 20, while washing their hands.
- Car Seat(s) Vehicle(s): It’s easy to forget about other areas that our children frequent. The car is one of the most significant places we forget about, but we frequent at least 2-3 times a day or for long periods. So, when anyone gets sick, I make sure to dedicate some time to clean the car out as well as any car seats. I know this is probably my least favorite thing to do because many times, it can be time-consuming! Another great activity children can participate in.
Again all of these things should already be implemented on your daily cleaning routine. However, now and then, these areas in the home may need additional TLC. When children get sick, it’s no fun. It can even send you in mommy panic mode, but implementing a few of these tips into your routine, will help eliminate your time with sickness. I would recommend doing this routine daily in the home at least 2-3 times a week when children are sick.