No matter how advanced of modern medicine has become in preventing and treating illnesses, home and family hygiene remains an important foundation to uphold when it comes to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from the threat of diseases.
The key is you – yes, everything begins with you.
On average, you will spend about 2/3 of your day in your house, so you need to focus on your personal hygiene first. otherwise, you may end up becoming the source of germs that will spread to your home and your loved ones!
Hand washing is an easy, cheap, and effective way to prevent the spread of germs and keep children and adults healthy.
According to WHO, it can prevent 1 in 3 cases of diarrhoea, and 1 in 5 cases of respiratory infections such as cold and flu.
So, we suggest having regular reminders of how and when to wash hands (especially children) :
Go one up by displaying messages such as “HAVE YOU WASHED YOUR HANDS?” at sinks or common areas.
The 3 simple rules of hand washing :
1. Wash your hands with soap when they are visibly soiled or dirty.
2. Scrub and lather your hands for at least 40-60 seconds (hum the ABC song twice) before rinsing under running water.
3. Dry your hands properly.
The act of cleaning simply removes the dirt on the object. Sanitizing, on the other hand, kills germs that are present on the surface of the object.
Hence, to maintain good home hygiene, it is just as important to sanitize or disinfect as it is to clean.
A cheap and easy-to-get sanitizing product would be the everyday household bleach liquid with a minimum of 5% sodium hypochlorite (please refer to the label of products for dilutions).
Here are some tips to help you get started in your efforts to improve your home hygiene :
1. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly such as door knobs, hand rails, wall switches, faucet handles, drawers and bathmom sinks.
2. Pay more attention to areas that are more susceptible to high humidity or moisture, such as the areas below the kitchen and bathroom sinks. These areas are potential breeding grounds for germs and mould.
3. Wipe surfaces like table, cabinet top or shelves with disinfecting solution.
4. Don’t forget to clean and disinfect your tools. For example, you can soak your cleaning sponges in a bleach solution for 5 minutes after each usage.
5. Shower heads can be a breeding ground for mould and germs if not cleaned regularly. Fill a bowl of bleach solution and let the shower head soak in it for a few hours. Leave overnight if need be. Then scrub the holes with an old toothbrush and rinse through with running water.
6. Your bedroom is a haven for dust, fungi and germs. Washing pillows, mattresses, blankets, etc regularly with detergent and sundrying helps.
7. Always air your house for at least 30 minutes daily by opening the windows. The best time to do this is in the morning. Doing so will keep your house fresh and free of odours, as well as allow
circulation of fresh air into your home.
When water and soap are not immediately available, you can turn to alcohol-based hand sanitizers to keep your hands clean.
Be sure to choose hand sanitizers that have a minimum of 70% alcohol content (alcohol content is stated on the label of most brands).
Before going into your house, sanitize your hands. That way, you won’t be leaving germs on the doorknob and various objects on your way to the sink.
Place alcohol-based hand sanitizers at strategic locations such as the house entryway or hallways between rooms. However, make sure that they are kept out of reach of children.
Also, do always supervise your child when they are using alcohol based hand sanitizers.