Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My House Smells Like Lysol

My children seem to be welcoming cold and flu season in with open arms. So far we've got chest colds, sinus infections, coughs, croup, pneumonia, and ear infections. Yay.....please note my lack of enthusiasm. With young kids around each other daily, eager to share their germs and not much else, the illness spreads pretty quickly. It doesn't really matter how much I wash, clean, disinfect, and whatnot, I know those germs are going to spread regardless, but it's good to know that everything is squeaky clean (besides the kid themselves).

Here are a few things I do to keep the toys and furniture clean. I do these things year round, but it seems especially important during the colder months when airing out the house and sending the kids out to play isn't an option.

  • Have the kids wash their hands CONSTANTLY!! I don't have them use Purell because of the chemicals in it....and with 1-5 year olds, you'd be amazed at how their hands are constantly in their mouths. A good antibacterial soap does wonders on their germy little hands.
  •  Use the dishwasher for plastic toys. Yes, the dishwasher for the thicker plastic toys that don't have batteries (yea, I totally stated that just in case someone tried to put a toy with batteries in the dishwasher and didn't think anything of it. I'm just saying someone might try it....). Little People, toys cars, play food and dishes, plastic balls, Legos, etc. Friday nights/Saturday mornings are perfect to run a large load of toys only and they have plenty of time to air dry. Just make sure there's no holes that water can get in to so mold doesn't grow. This is a perfect way to ensure these toys are properly disinfected and clean.
  •  Wash stuffed animals or dolls. I have a weekly rotation of things I wash: couch pillows, doll blankets, doll clothes, and cloth dolls. The most played with stuffed animals get washed once a week, the others get washed every other week.
  •  Wash curtains. Sounds weird but I wash mine at least twice a month, usually more. If a kid is sick, I wash them instantly. Why? Because you'd be amazed at how often my curtains are used as a tissue or used to wipe their hands and faces.
  • Lysol or other disinfectant spray. Use daily. During the winter months, I use it up to three times a day. Just follow the directions and you don't have to worry about your child ingesting any unwanted chemicals. This is my biggest help in keeping the toys germ free.
  •  Enforce "no biting toys" or "toys away from mouths" rules. Yea, it's a pain in the ass and I feel like I say it a million and one times a day to the kids, but it's the best way to keep germs from spreading.
  •  Wash bedding at least once a week. Daycare bedding gets washed daily, my kids bedding daily if they're sick, otherwise at least once a week.
  •  Up vitamin intake. Along with feeding my kids a well balanced diet, I up their vitamin intake during colder weather when they can't be outside. Mine get 2 daily multivitamins along with an upped offerings of oranges and other fruits and veggies that are packed with vitamins. Sure my kids still get sick, but it helps them fight whatever off quickly.
  •  Anything kid height gets cleaned nightly too-tables, baby gates, windows, the tv screen that's often used as a mirror, shelves, etc. all get cleaned daily. I use cleaners or Clorox wipes on these surfaces. Just be sure to give it time to air dry before little hands come into contact with those surfaces.
I know these sound like no-brainers and I can guarantee this is not a fool proof way to keep your kids from getting sick. These are just a few things I do to keep my home, which welcomes in numerous kids each day (aka numerous germs each day), clean and disinfected. Good luck to all with young ones as we enter the "season of sickness." May there be no horrible illnesses, no sick days taken, and no going broke buying boxes upon boxes of tissues.