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6 Practical and Easy Precautions to Help Protect Your Family from COVID-19

DSC01441.jpgMy Freezer in December 2006

Frozen pizzas, carton of Haagen-Dazs, lots of breast milk (yes, mine, thank you very much), and our 6 month-old son’s lovies creatively named Duckie and Cow… Bet you didn’t know that below-freezing temperatures kill dust mites! Unfortunately, below-freezing temperatures do not kill COVID-19.

While at war with dust mites and other suspected allergens, we were also battling chronic infectious diseases in our household that required calls with the CDC and many visits with a pediatric infectious disease doctor. We learned a lot of gross and frightening facts like how long bacteria and viruses can live on paper and in the air. We also learned that our household was relatively “safe”, but that to keep it that way, we needed to take extra precautions when we came home from the outside world.

Here are 6 practical, easy precautions you can add to what you already do to help protect your family from COVID-19:

1.     Take off your shoes before entering the house

We are all being so careful with what we touch with our hands. It makes sense that the bottom of your shoes can bring in some nasty things that you don’t want to introduce to your home.

2.     Wash your hands immediately after entering the house.  

  • Use a disposable paper towel to dry.  If you are low on paper towels, wash your hand towels (at least daily) in hot water and dry them until they are crispy.

  • You can watch the many informing videos on how to wash your hands properly, but key things I learned from the infectious disease doctor are:

    • Soap and water are just fine

    • Water does not have to be scalding hot

    • The space between your thumb and index fingers are often missed when washing your hands

    • You have to wash past your wrists to be thorough

    • Consider not wearing rings or watches. Or remove them immediately when you get home and wash your hands and wrists.

 3.     Change to clean clothes that you only wear in your house

  • You can change directly into comfy sweats or for some of us, pajamas.  No judgment.

  • Wash the clothes you wore out to the grocery store

 4.     Shower at night

  • In Asian households, this is the norm. My parents still don’t understand why people would get into their beds dirty.

  • Bonus: this step helps if you suffer from allergies.

 5.     If you have eyeglasses, wear them while at the store

This is a physical reminder NOT to touch your eyes.  It may provide a bit of protection, but not a whole lot.

6.     Sanitize high use items daily.  Here are some items that you may not have considered:

  • Your keys and key fobs

  • Your car door handles

  • Your eyeglasses or sunglasses

  • Your backpacks, purses, wallets

  • Your credit cards

Let me know if you’d like to go to crazy town. I’d be happy to share more extreme measures that we used to implement at home.

 COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

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3/31/2020

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