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The risk of catching a cold or coming down with the flu can be high – especially in the winter months. If someone in your home gets sick, germs can easily and quickly spread to other members of the household. In just a few days, your whole family could be showing flu symptoms. With these four tips you could majorly reduce the risk of harmful germs.

1. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY! – Washing your hands is a simple way to help stop the spread of germs and keep yourself from getting sick, whether you’re at home, at work or in public areas. Teach your family members the following handwashing tips and techniques to help avoid germs:

-Before, during and after preparing food.
-Before and after eating.
-Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
-After using the bathroom.
-After coming into contact with bodily fluid.
-After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
-After changing a diaper.
-After touching a family pet.
-After taking out the trash or coming into contact with garbage.
-After coming home from the germiest public places.
-When your hands look visibly dirty.

2. CLEAN AND DISINFECT COMMON AREAS REGULARLY! – Cleaning and disinfecting your home regularly is important to help keep everyone healthy. When somebody in the house is sick, take more of an active role to combat bacteria and viruses before they are able to spread.

Wipe down high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, chairs or other items that a sick individual has touched, with low-level disinfectant wipes. Infectious germs can live on surfaces for hours or even days, so it’s important to keep up a cleaning routine even in the days after an infected person starts feeling better. The CDC also recommended disinfecting the kitchen, bathrooms and other areas where potentially infectious germs can linger.

3. AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE! – Touching your face is one of the easiest ways to get germs on your hands into your body. If you touch something that’s been contaminated with germs and then touch your face, you could be transferring illnesses through the mucous membranes in the eyes, mouth and nose. To help prevent illness, wash your hands immediately after touching germy surfaces and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

4. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH SICK INDIVIDUALS! – If possible, avoid spending time in close contact with sick individuals. If you’re caring for sick family members, always wash your hands after providing care. If you are the one feeling sick, keep your distance from others to help prevent them from becoming ill, too. Stay home from work, school and other commitments until you are healthy.

At ServiceMaster, we know how important infection control and prevention is. With decades of experience in janitorial services for healthcare facilities, our professionals follow best practices and procedures published by leading organizations like OSHA and the CDC to help ensure that hospitals, medical offices and other practices are cleaned and disinfected properly. For any questions or concerns please call us at 215-322-1175