We all just want to keep our loved ones safe during this time but with the misinformation and uncertainty surrounding this virus how do we know what we should really be doing to protect ourselves and our families?
To give parents a helping hand, we have compiled the latest expert information on this virus and how to help keep your family safe.
- PERSONAL HYGIENE
One of the best lines of defense is to wash your hands for a full 20-30 seconds. Need an easy way to time this with your children? Sing the Happy Birthday Song – twice.
TIP: The water temperature does not matter (cold versus warm) as long as you use soap and water and wash your hands long enough.
If you are in a situation where you are using hand sanitizer as a substitute for handwashing, ensure that it contains at least 60% alcohol, cover all parts of the hands, and rub hands together for at least 20-30 seconds or until the hands feel dry.
You should always wash your hands after you blow your nose, sneeze into a tissue, use the restroom, when you leave and return to your home, before preparing or eating food, applying make-up, handling contact lenses, etc.
Don’t touch your face including your eyes, nose, and mouth.
When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately.
Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from people who are coughing or sneezing.
- CLEANING AROUND THE HOME
Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home regularly is an important precaution to lower the risk of infection. These include door handles, tables, chairs, handrails, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, all frequently used electronic equipment including mobile phones, keyboards, game controllers, remote controls, etc., and don’t forget the kiddos favorite toys.
To clean and disinfect, first clean the surface with soap or detergent and water. Next, be sure to use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (around 70%) or bleach.
TIP: Be advised that vinegar and other natural products are not recommended.
If you cannot find any disinfectant sprays or wipes to purchase, continue to clean with soap and water. Diluted household bleach solutions may be used on some surfaces.
TIP: Many cleaning solutions need to stay wet on a surface for several minutes in order to be effective so please follow the cleaning product instructions for safe and effective use.
- CLEANING CLOTHING
It is currently unclear how long the virus can survive on fabric so exercise caution and common sense. Good practices to consider after being out include removing your shoes when you enter your home and changing into clean clothes when you return home after being in crowded places. Again, always wash your hands with soap and water as well.
Clean bedsheets, towels, and clothing regularly. Don’t shake dirty laundry to minimize the risk of dispersing the virus through the air. Launder items with soap or detergent on the appropriate water settings. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after handling dirty laundry. Don’t forget to wash or disinfect your laundry bag/hamper as well.
If you need to use laundry facilities outside of your home, take sensible precautions including sorting laundry loads before leaving home, trying to go at a time when you know fewer people will be there, maintaining appropriate social distance from others, wearing disposable gloves if available, disinfecting the machines you use, and don’t touch your face. Wait outside for your laundry to finish if you can. Fold your laundry at home. As always, wash your hands when returning home. Don’t forget to wash or disinfect your laundry bag/hamper as well.
TIP: Consider using disposable bags for transport instead of a hamper or bag.
- FOOD HANDLING AND PREPARATION
While at the present time there is no evidence of people catching the virus from food or food packaging, the greatest risk comes from being in close contact with other people while food shopping or receiving a food delivery. Always remove any unnecessary packaging and dispose of it in a waste bin with a lid.
Remove food from take-out containers and place them on a clean plate. Dispose of the container.
Wipe cans with a disinfectant before opening and storing.
Wash unpackaged produce thoroughly under running water.
Always follow proper food preparation practices.
Always practice proper handwashing techniques before and after handling all food.