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Categories > Children’s Health > Infectious diseases

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Home sweet germy home
The top 9 germ hangouts

Kill flu bugs dead

Although it doesn’t replace a yearly flu shot, simple hand washing can help keep flu from invading your home. Wet your hands, add soap, rub them together for 20 seconds, then rinse well. Use a paper towel to dry your hands. When you get the urge to sneeze, do so in a tissue or in your sleeve to help prevent germs from spreading.

Public places may be popular spots for germs to hang out. But your own home is a far greater haven for these tiny sickness-causing organisms. Below are the most popular germ magnets in your home:

  1. The kitchen sink, perhaps the dirtiest place in the house, guzzles down millions of germs daily from raw meat, fish, fruits and veggies.
  2. Sponges harbor millions of germs within their tiny pores because they provide a moist, dark and warm environment that most sink germs crave.
  3. Countertops harbor germs even if they look clean—some germs can live for hours to days on dry surfaces.
  4. Cutting boards, either plastic or wood, have the kind of cracks and crevices that raw meat- and veggie-germs love to hide in.
  5. Doorknobs and handles, like the one on your refrigerator, attract viruses and bacteria from every hand in the house.
  6. Tubs and showers not only have viruses and bacteria, but they’re often filled with mold and mildew, too.
  7. Hand towels breed millions of germs daily because of their frequent, shared use.
  8. Computer keyboards are rampant with germs, particularly if you eat while you type.
  9. Pets are cute and fluffy but frequent carriers of all kinds of germs and diseases, including those that come from worms, ticks and fleas.

How can you protect yourself and your family? Regularly clean all sinks, countertops and doorknobs with a commercial cleanser or a mild bleach solution. Disinfect sponges and cutting boards in your dishwasher and limit tea and hand towels to a one-time use per person or use paper towels. Use alcohol pads to quickly clean computer keys. And keep pets free of worms, ticks and fleas.


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