The beginning of the school year always results in the kids bringing home colds. Cold season is definitely here and my kids all have the runny noses to prove it. I take lots of measures to keep our home germ free, but doing it in public places is much harder. You probably visit the following four public places often, and I’m sharing tips for avoiding germs while you’re there.
Tips For Avoiding Germs In Public Places
The Grocery Store (And Target, Walmart, or any other store you enter!)
I think that by now everybody knows to wipe down the shopping cart handles before you touch them. At the grocery store, it is not just germs from people that you have to worry about; if blood from raw meat gets on the handle, you or the kids could potentially ingest bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. Gross. So make sure you wipe down the entire handle and any other part of the cart that you think you’ll touch. And ask the kids not to hold on to the cart.
After you leave the store, make sure to carry Wet Ones or other hand wipes or antibacterial hand gel in your purse or car and make everybody use them.
If you use a fabric shopping-cart cover to protect your little ones from touching the cart, know that germs can survive longer in fabric than on the cart’s plastic handle. Make sure to wash the cover regularly.
The Doctor’s Office
Have your kids (and you too!) wash hands before and after going to the doctor’s office. Carry antibacterial hand wipes or gel in your purse and don’t be afraid to use it. If you are really trying to stay germ-free you can even allow your children to bring their own toys or books to keep them busy while they wait.
If your doctor’s office is like mine, it’s probably divided into a sick and non-sick waiting room. Not that germs don’t travel, but if you are there for a routine visit, don’t sit in the sick section.
Not just the park, but any place the kids play. I read somewhere that jungle gyms are more germ-infested than public bathrooms. Blech! While yucky to think about, it makes sense – bathrooms are cleaned regularly but playground equipment is never cleaned.
Teach your children not to touch their mouths, noses, or eyes at the playground. Easier said than done, I know. Before leaving the park, make sure to use antibacterial hand gel on everybody’s hands and to wash them thoroughly when you get home. Start doing it when they’re young and it just becomes a regular habit.
Whether you are at a restaurant or just borrowing a high chair at a family or friend’s house, make sure to use those antibacterial wipes to clean it before putting your child in it. As crazy as it sounds, you can even wipe down the table and chairs before using them. Every little bit helps!
What tips for avoiding germs in public places can you share to help prevent germs during the cold and flu season?