At this time, you may be wondering whether your home is safe, and if there are risks of infections spreading within the confines of your house. Having young kids at home can mean that you need to pay special attention to them, giving you less time to focus on tasks like keeping the house in the order that you would like, but maintaining a healthy home does not need to be a chore.
What should I focus on cleaning?
The surfaces that you and your kids touch most often are the ones to prioritize cleaning. This is to reduce the chance of the virus transferring from these surfaces to your hands. Cleaning high-touch surfaces will reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in areas which come into contact with various people throughout the day.
These high-touch surfaces include: Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. It is also recommended to pay special attention to horizontal surfaces such as countertops, kitchen tables, desktops and other places where respiratory droplets could land.
How should I clean?
- Clean high-touch surfaces using soap and water, or another detergent if it is dirty. Follow this up by a household disinfectant.
- Use disinfectant products containing alcohol (ensure that it is around 70 per cent) or diluted bleach. Vinegar and other natural products are not recommended.
- Ensure that you follow the directions on the cleaning products to make sure that they are being used as recommended and to avoid any potential damage to your surfaces.
- It is important not to wipe off or remove disinfectants as soon as they have been applied to a surface. Disinfectant products, such as wipes and sprays, need to remain on a surface for several minutes in order to be effective.
- Consider using wipeable covers for electronics such as laptops and remotes.
- Floors should be cleaned and disinfected with a household cleaner. Pay special attention to floor surfaces that receive a high traffic on a daily basis. If shoes are not removed, or if you share your home with pets, there is the added risk of bringing in bacteria and viruses from the outside.
- For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
What about precautions for myself and others?
Hand hygiene is still the best weapon in any fight between us and contagious diseases. Encourage your kids to adopt these practices, and help them learn by setting a good example.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, it is recommended that you always wash with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Additional key times to clean hands include:
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- After contact with animals or pets
- Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. your children)
Whether you decide to clean it all one day a week, or one room a day, following a consistent schedule is one of the most important secrets to keeping a clean house. While you stay home, you can also stay safe!