Here’s how you can stop the spread of flu at home
Washing your hands frequently is the best way to protect yourself from a wide range of illnesses, including flu. Every time you touch something, the germs that are already on it can transfer to your hands. Touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands could then transfer the germs from your hands into your body.
These simple hygiene rules should always be followed to stop the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Use a new and clean tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Put your used tissues in the bin immediately – or better still, flush them down the toilet – and wash your hands afterwards.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly using an effective solution such as Dettol Disinfectant Sprays. Pay particular attention to the surfaces that people touch most often with their hands.
More help around the home
- How can I remove flu viruses from surfaces?
- Spread the word (not the germs) to your children
- What to do if you do fall ill
How can I remove flu viruses from surfaces?
Any person with flu could spread germs to surfaces around them when they cough or sneeze, or touch them with unwashed hands or used tissues. The virus can then live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours, and a soft surface for approximately 20 minutes.
As such it is important to ensure surface hygiene with an effective solution such as Dettol Surface Cleaning Wipes which can help stop the flu virus and other germs spreading around your home, to you and to other people. It is particularly important to treat the following areas of your home (use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use):
- Handles and switches.
- Taps and toilet flush handles.
- Kitchen worktops.
- Telephone receivers.
- Computer keyboards.
Spread the word (not the germs) to your children
If you are a parent you know how important it is to prevent your children being in contact with too many germs whilst still allowing them the freedom to play and explore. Check out our tips below for how to engage them in good hygiene practice in the home:
- Why not download this poster and use it as inspiration to help them create their own. These can be put up in the bathroom to remind them of the importance of washing their hands after they have used the toilet or been playing in the garden.
- Ensure that you have a supply of clean tissues on hand and praise your child when they use them. Place them in various locations around the house.
- Make hand washing fun – put up a chart and reward your children with stickers. Once they have collected 10 stickers reward them with a treat.
- Involve your child in household chores – explain to them why it is so important to keep surfaces clean and give them small tasks to complete.
- Give your child plenty of clean tissues to take to school with them.
- Buy ‘handy-packs’ of tissues – great for handbags, school bags and change bags – look out for novelty ones with pictures and patterns that your children will love.
- Put a box of tissues by the front door and encourage your family to pop one in their pocket as they leave. Make sure all pockets are emptied before the clothes go in the wash though!
- Wash hard toys once a week and ensure soft toys are kept clean by putting them in the washing machine regularly in line with manufacturers guides.
- Ensure surfaces in the kitchen are disinfected every day and that the house is thoroughly cleaned once a week, preferably using a solution that effectively gets rid of germs such as Dettol Disinfectant Spray, where appropriate.
- Ensure the house is aired once a week by opening windows and doors.
- Keep handy disposable disinfectant wipes next to key areas such as the kitchen sink and the toilet.
What to do if you fall ill
If you or your family does fall ill with flu, it is important to remember that generally it is not serious and requires simple bed rest and plenty of fluids. It is important that you feel as comfortable as possible so you should:
- Consider getting a thermometer so you can measure body temperature and tell if someone has a fever. Ear thermometers are particularly good for wriggly children!
- Make sure you have the things you might want should you or your family get ill e.g. flannels to moisten and put on your forehead, ice in the freezer to make refreshing cool drinks
- Ask your ‘flu friend’ to drop off some magazines or DVDs.
- If you get the flu, a range of over the counter treatments are available to ease the family’s symptoms. Including products such as Nurofen Express Tablets (ibuprofen lysine) or Nurofen for Children Singles (ibuprofen) which can help to reduce fever and headache or Strepsils Original Lozenges to help soothe a sore throat. For adults there is Lemsip Max All In One Lemon, which contains paracetamol for pain and fever, a decongestant (phenylephrine hydrochloride) and guaifenesin to help ease a chesty cough treating all your major flu symptoms. Always read the label.