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Infection prevention in the home

3/1/2010

Home is where the heart is. So don’t bring infections home to your family. You can follow a few simple steps to ensure you create and maintain a healthy and infection-free environment.

Here are helpful tips and reminders on essential home areas to clean, and how to best tackle these high-risk germ havens.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis. Establish a schedule for daily and weekly cleaning and disinfection activities based on the location and level of contamination. Clean more often when there are sick family members.
  • Avoid clutter to limit areas where dust and dirt can collect.
  • Organize your cleaning supplies in one area so they are easy to find; remember to keep cleaning agents away from children.
  • Make it a family affair. Keeping a home clean should be shared by all members of the family. Assign young kids simple tasks to keep them involved.

Other important tips:

Hand hygiene
Many illnesses can be prevented with regular hand hygiene using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Clean your hands often, and request that others do the same.

Breaks in the skin
Intact skin is a major barrier to germs. Cover any cuts or abrasions with a waterproof dressing to protect them from germs in the environment.

Personal items
Don’t share combs, brushes, towels, toothbrushes, razors, or other personal items.

Cover your cough
Practice respiratory etiquette and request that others do the same. Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your arm, not your hands. Always dispose of used tissues in waste containers and wash your hands after coughing and sneezing.

Avoid clutter
At home, at work or in the hospital, make keeping the environment clean an easier job for yourself and others.

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