I am always sweating my boys getting sick when this time of year rolls around. Once one of us gets a cold or a bug, we all do. I’ve made a short list of what keeps my family a little less germy and a lot more happy during sniffle season!
#1. Wash your fruits and veggies, I mean REALLY wash!
I can’t tell you how many times I witness friends and family members (you know who you are!), just run a piece of fruit under the faucet for a quick second and then take a big bite out of it. My question to them is ALWAYS the same, “if you’re just going to rinse it, why even rinse it at all? What did you gain by doing that?” Take a minute and think about it the next time you use fresh produce in a meal or as your kids’ snack. I just want to run a scenario by you:
A mom of 2 runs to the grocery store. She’s standing in line at the bakery waiting for her loaf and her kids venture over to the produce market area. One has had the sniffles for 3 days and the other will surely get it in the next 24 hours. Before mom realizes the shenanigans they’re getting into, they’ve already touched about 10 tomatoes and apples while rubbing their itchy noses. Fast forward 30 minutes and an old man with a terrible runny nose and pretty gnarly cough, takes a trip to that same store, walks over to that same produce market area, and touches 10 lemons to make sure he picks the perfect one for his hot tea. Later that evening, you forget that you ran out of tomatoes and lemons for your hubby’s favorite meal. Looks like a trip to the grocery store for you! You quickly grab a couple juicy tomatoes and the perfect lemon to finish the dish. Rushing to have dinner done before everyone gets home, you just rinse your tomato in the sink. And the lemon? Forget rinsing it, it’s getting sliced and you don’t eat the outside anyway right? 3 days later, all of you have the same cough and an annoying runny nose. Wishing you would have washed your produce now, don’t you?
It only takes a few quick seconds to really cleanse your fruits and veggies, and I promise the outcome is far better than the odds of the risks you take by not washing appropriately. I wash all my fruits and veggies in warm water with a little soap. Not only does it taste more fresh and boosts my chances of being a little healthier but, I hate seeing my blueberries looking all dust colored and dry, and washing keeps them looking and tasting fresh for days.
Don’t forget, just because you don’t eat the peel, does not mean you’re 100% safe! Once you cut the outside of your orange and slice through the middle, any contaminants on the outside of your fruit have just infected the inside. Hello cantaloupe recall! Remember that? Wash ALL produce!
#2.Play Dates and Day Cares
This is probably my favorite of them all. To put it it simply, PLEASE, I’m begging you, do not bring your sick kiddies to play dates and day care. I know this seems so silly, but you have no idea how many times my entire family has gotten sick from other parents not being considerate to other families and bringing they’re ill children to our therapy office. Just because a child coughs into their hand, does not mean they’re going to be conscious to not touch the toys other kids are going to play with, with their germy hands. Lucky for me though, when it comes to play dates, I have some pretty awesome mom friends who always warn me and aren’t afraid to cancel if they’re little ones are sick. I’m giving you permission right now to cancel movie night or a day at the zoo when your kid is sick! IT IS OKAY to rain check! Don’t feel bad or get down on yourself. If your friends are like me, they’ll thank the heavens for your consideration of their household! *A quick shout out to all my mom friends who call a resched on behalf of a sickie. THANK YOU for keeping one more cold out of my home!
#3. Gas Pumps. Ew.
This is kind of a no brainer but, just think about how many people touch a gas pump after sneezing, coughing, or worse. We always keep a liter size hand sanitizer jug with a pump in the trunk of our car. I’m fortunate enough to RARELY ever pump my own gas. Hubby usually checks before the week starts to make sure we both have enough for our travels. However, on the occasion that I do have to pump, I’m always cautious about washing when I get to my destination. Hand sani isn’t 100% but, it’s gets the job done when you don’t have any other options. (It would be impossible for me to pump, then go into the gas station with both boys, just to wash with soap.) Always remember to wash your hands once you stop, especially before eating! And don’t forget your little ones too. 99% of the time we hold their hand when crossing the street and we transfer our germs to them. Take the extra time and effort, they deserve clean hands too!
#4. Holiday Shopping
YAY! It’s Fall, which means Thanksgiving, which means Christmas, which means SHOPPING! It’s our favorite time of year again and the mall traffic is about to double, scratch that, triple! So many of us walk around with contagious colds that we may not even realize we have until symptoms show days later. We touch shopping carts, merchandise, and money that have all been touched by tons of other people. Most stores now offer sanitizing wipes for cart handles and handicap doors that open automatically. (Please let those in need enter first.) Take advantage of these things this season! & just like after pumping gas, remember to wash your hands when you’re finished, especially before eating!
#5. Ahh Starbucks
Okay, so maybe I’m a germ freak but, this always skeeves me out. We wait all year for our delicious cup of Pumpkin Spice, and it’s finally hear! Have you ever actually watched the baristas put the lids on your lattes? Gross. Their entire palm pushes down on the lid and who knows when they washed their hands last?! The line has been backed up for over an hour! Next time, simply ask the barista to hand you your lid and put it on yourself! Voila! One less germy hand mashing your latte lid!
Thanks for reading! I hope these tips impact you and inspire you to be a little less germy this season!