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With four young kids at home, it sometimes seems inevitable that someone is going to bring home a sickness and it will run rampant through the family. And medication, doctor’s visits, missed days at work and prescriptions just cost money that I’d rather be spending somewhere else! Fortunately we’ve been avoiding illness or at least nipping those coughs and sniffles quickly with a few easy tricks. Simple things like removing shoes before coming into the house, changing out of school clothing right away, hand washing and not sharing cups go a long way towards not spreading sickness. Walgreens is my go-to for all my winter stock-up items including Centrum® Silver® for Men or Women and ChapStick® Total Hydration.
9 Practical Tips to Avoiding Illness This Winter
Wash Your Hands
A no-brainer, right? Frequent hand washing is an ideal way to keep germs from transferring. Kids need LOTS of reminders for this one though. Wash your hands immediately upon coming home, before you touch anything. Wash your hands before cooking or eating. And certainly, wash your hands after using the toilet, coughing or sneezing.
No sips from someone else’s cup or straw! No bites using someone else’s fork or spoon! Want to share an apple? Cut it in pieces so you aren’t biting from the same fruit. Eliminate the “Is this glass mine?” issue by giving each family member a labeled cup (either personalized with their name or with a particular image) so they won’t get mixed up.
Remove Your Shoes
With a crawling baby in our house, keeping the floors clean is important to me. But even if you don’t have a little one on the floor, you’d be shocked to see how much dirt comes in to the house on the soles of your shoes. We remove our shoes every time we come inside. In fact, we don’t even keep the shoes inside the house anymore. They are all stored in bins on a shelving unit in the garage. We put our shoes on when we leave the house and wear slippers or socks inside during cool weather. Keeping shoes outside eliminates transferring bacteria onto the floors and helps keep the carpets looking new as well.
Change of Clothes
Another way we eliminate transferring of germs is by changing our clothes when we come home. When our kids have been at school or playing at the park, we have them take off dirty clothes, bathe and change into clean clothes. We don’t want germs that linger on clothes transferred to sofas, carpet or bedding! Dirty clothes are moved into the laundry room daily.
A daily cleaning doesn’t have to take long. We are able to tackle the basic jobs in about 30 minutes a day and have a very clean house. For most of our cleaning tasks we use distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle, Castile soap, baking soda and microfiber rags. Distilled white vinegar inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, and some bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella…plus it’s really inexpensive! Be sure to empty trashcans daily if a sick family member is filling them up with used tissues.
Think about the hundreds of times things are touched in your home before they get cleaned. Use your vinegar spray to moisten a damp microfiber rag and wipe down doorknobs and light switches. Appliance handles, remote controls, cell phones and tablets too! Shake your computer keyboard out over the trash to remove crumbs and dust then carefully wipe the keys. Don’t forget to clean the mouse!
Launder Linens & Towels
I wash sheets and pillowcases once a week, blankets every two weeks and comforters once a month. When we have someone who is under the weather, I have a more frequent routine of changing of their pillowcase and I refresh it every day, especially if they have a runny nose or cough (who wants to sleep on a snotty pillowcase, ewww!) Remove and wash sofa pillows as well if your family uses them to rest their head. I also change out the hand towel in the bathroom daily and if someone is already sick, they should use their own hand towel.
Despite all your efforts, sometimes someone just comes down with a resilient bug. To avoid illness from running through the family, move swiftly to contain it and quarantine the sickie!
Last year as soon as we noticed that my son was coming down with a stomach bug, we immediately kept him separated from the rest of the family. This meant, he stayed in bed with the door shut so he could get plenty of rest. We kept him well-hydrated and I changed out and washed his bedding daily. So the illness wouldn’t spread, we didn’t allow the other children to go into the room. And each time I went in to help him, I would immediately wash my hands afterwards. We avoided anyone else catching the bug, hurrah!
Eat Well & Take Your Daily Vitamin
Oh sure, the holidays are coming and that means rich foods and extra dessert. You can still indulge on those special occasions but continue to fill yourself with healthy greens and lots of fresh fruit the rest of the time. I’m all about sneaking in the leftover greens into my breakfast smoothies. I just freeze the greens and stuff a handful into the blender cup. Add in almond milk and frozen fruit (I like pineapple, bananas and cranberries) and you won’t even taste the green stuff!
I stopped off at Walgreens last week to pick up Centrum® Silver® for Women to give to my mom. Recommended for women 50+, Centrum Silver for women now has higher levels of Vitamin D3 (which is a preferred source of Vitamin D).
With an aunt who was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis, I appreciate that Centrum® Silver® for Women is specially formulated with nutrients to help support bone strength in women. *Use as Directed. Check your store for temporary price reductions as the prices are changing each week (it was on sale during my visit!)
While I was a Walgreens I also stocked up on more ChapStick® Total Hydration. Here in SoCal, we move from sunburned lips in summer to dry lips in autumn from the hot winds and I was desperate for moisture! ChapStick® Total Hydration can be used everyday like “Skincare for lips™” to help moisturize and soften. *Use as Directed. I got two, one for my purse and one for my bedside table to apply before bed. What am I kidding though, my husband will probably snag both!
How will you be prepping your family for avoiding illness this winter? Consider stocking up now on Centrum® Silver® for Men or Women and ChapStick® Total Hydration at Walgreens during their sale!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.