Cold, flu and even RSV in young children are always concerns as the weather gets colder, but officials are warning of an even greater outbreak of these illnesses this year as life is returning to normal following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts are predicting higher rates of illness as fewer people are wearing masks and isolating and therefore are more exposed to viruses than in the last couple of years.
According to the CDC, RSV cases, which more often impact young children, are dramatically rising across the United States, and the surge has started much earlier than in the typical annual cycle, adding to the worry for health officials and parents alike.
The experts at HappyCleans of Oklahoma City provided us with tips for cleaning our homes to help stop the spread of these illnesses:
- Disinfect surfaces, particularly heavily-used surfaces. Countertops and tabletops automatically come to mind but don’t miss the less obvious places like kitchen cabinet pulls, light switch plates, faucet handles, door handles, your mobile phone, and even the toilet lever.
- When doing laundry, try to use hot water if possible and wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you are done.
- If family members are sick, have a system for using disposable paper towels and other paper products when cleaning. Using cloth rags can save on excess waste, but during these months when germs are everywhere, it’s better to turn to disposables, especially because they can be put directly in the trash after use and therefore not be touched by others.
- Don’t forget to make everyone in the family aware of ways they can avoid getting sick and/or passing along an illness. Teach children your rules, like how to cover a cough and when to wash hands, and be sure to thank them when you catch them doing the right thing.
And all of these tips remind us that washing our hands properly and often, especially before eating and after using the toilet, is critical to helping our families stay well year-round. Although not as ideal as hand washing, using hand sanitizer is a good second line of defense.
HappyCleans recommends having hand sanitizer dispensers handy around the house, especially in areas where your family spends the most time together, such as the living room and even your car.
HappyCleans also shared how you can make safe and effective disinfectants at home using common ingredients:
- Combine 1/3 cup bleach to one gallon of water.
- Or for a disinfectant that is less harsh and almost as effective, combine 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to two cups of water.
With a bit of thoughtfulness and intention, these steps can help your family stay healthier during these months when viruses can run rampant.
More about HappyCleans of Oklahoma City:
Founded in 2016 by owner Will Cotter, HappyCleans makes it easy to book a cleaning, with an easy-to-complete form online. Each cleaning choice you make through the form includes a clear price point and there are automatic discounts applied when you book more than one cleaning session.
“Typically, whether booking a one-time cleaning or a weekly cleaning with other services, there is a back-and-forth process of phone discussions, house visits, negotiation and appointment setting,” explains Cotter. “We’ve taken the hassle out of the process with our easy online booking process, which takes just 60 seconds.”
Cotter says another factor that makes his company unique is their priority on safety.
“We’re very particular about the professionals we hire, with only about 1 percent of the applicants being accepted and only after extensive background checks,” said Cotter.
The company is bonded and insured, providing an extra level of protection for homeowners.
Find out more at HappyCleans at happycleans.com. Exclusive to friends of MetroFamily, use the code metrofamily25 for $25 off your first cleaning.