The average household can be a breeding ground for germs. Unbeknownst to many of us, a fair number of our daily rituals are actively contributing to the spread of germs, thus making everyone in our households less safe.
So, if you’re looking to curb the spread of germs in your home, you’ll first need to understand the various actions that result in germ propagation. If germs are a consistent problem in your household, the following behaviors may be to blame.
Lack Of Attention Paid To Handwashing
Dirty hands can be highly conducive to the spread of germs. Furthermore, even people who think they engage in proper handwashing practices are often wrong on this point. So, if you’re of the impression that any effort at handwashing is maximally effective, it’s time to correct your thinking.
Proper handwashing entails wetting your hands and wrists, turning off the faucet, lathering your hands and wrists with soap, scrubbing them for a minimum of 20 seconds and rinsing them in warm water. Unfortunately, a staggering number of people fail to lather up properly or scrub their hands and wrists for the appropriate amount of time.
Worse yet, outside of extreme circumstances, some people abstain from handwashing altogether. If you or any other member of your household could stand to improve their handwashing practices, take care to heed this advice.
Failure To Wash Hands At Appropriate Times
In addition to embracing the handwashing practices discussed above, it’s imperative that every member of your household wash their hands at appropriate times. Not only is this a tenet of good hygiene, it can also be a boon to your germ-prevention efforts.
So, if you or any of the people with whom you cohabitate are unclear on when to wash their hands, make sure to take the following advice to heart. Hands should be washed before handling food, after handling raw meat and eggs, after returning home, after using the bathroom, after sneezing or coughing, after handling used tissue, after handling dirty clothes and before touching clean clothes.
Of course, there are many other everyday situations that warrant handwashing, so if you ever need to ask yourself if handwashing is appropriate, the answer is practically guaranteed to be YES.
Contact With Contagiously Ill Individuals
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have become far more cognizant of contagious illnesses. Unfortunately, this is not the case across the board, and a concerning number of people still have zero reservations about spending time around contagiously sick individuals.
If you choose to engage in such behavior because you’re unconcerned about your own health, you should at least consider how your actions stand to impact the other members of your household – not to mention your friends, coworkers and anyone else with whom you interact.
A lack of caution on your part can kick off a household-wide infection cluster, which may subsequently spread to other households. With this in mind, you should actively avoid contact with people who are contagiously sick and encourage the other members of your household to do the same.
Even if someone is only mildly sick, their illness may impact you – and the members of your household – far more severely. For example, just because someone has a mild or asymptomatic case of COVID-19 doesn’t mean the people to whom they spread the virus will be as lucky.
Lax Cleaning Practices
Lax cleaning practices can prove extremely damaging to germ-prevention efforts, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom. In the interest of curbing the spread of harmful bacteria, mold and mildew, make sure these areas are thoroughly cleaned at least once a week.
Of course, depending on the size of your household and how much use these spaces get, more frequent cleaning may be required. You can also improve the general air quality in your home with the help of air purifiers that incorporate antimicrobial filtration.
While our homes generally serve as safe havens from the many stressors of the world at large, this doesn’t always apply to germs. Although you may think you’re perfectly safe from germs and assorted illnesses while in the comfort of your own home, there’s a good chance your home isn’t the germ-free space you envision it as. Without even realizing it, many of us engage in behaviors that are conducive to spread of germs, ultimately making ourselves and the people with whom we cohabitate less safe.