Cold and flu season is in full swing. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season usually peaks in January and February and can stick around as late as May.

Moms with sick infants have their hands full, and one concern is stopping germs from spreading to everyone else in the family.

Speaking of hands, it all starts with proper hand-washing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces around the house.

What’s the Right Way to Wash Hands?

  1. Start by wetting your hands with warm, running water.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds – about the time it takes to say the alphabet once or hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
  4. Rinse your hands under warm, running water.
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel.

Sharing is NOT Caring

Germs are spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes without covering their nose or mouth. A healthy person nearby can inhale these germs and become infected. Mucous droplets may also land on nearby surfaces and be picked up on hands and delivered to eyes, noses and mouths via the hands (have we mentioned the importance of hand-washing?)

That’s why it’s so important for moms to teach children to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their sleeve. But babies can’t do that – which means moms need to step up their disinfection game when a little one is sick.

How to Mix a Germ-Busting Bleach Solution

To properly disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs or countertops, mix 1 gallon of water with 1 tablespoon of regular strength bleach or 2 teaspoons of high-strength bleach.
1. Clean the surface with warm, soapy water.

2. Sanitize using the germ-busting bleach solution.

3. Let air dry.

Moms also need to make sure they don’t use a towel or washcloth on a sick baby and then share it with other siblings, notes the American Academy of Pediatrics. Likewise, don’t let siblings share dirty toys, pacifiers or toothbrushes that a sick baby may have used, because they could be contaminated. Properly and immediately dispose of used tissues, and wash your hands after wiping your baby’s nose or mouth.

When your baby is sick, it’s probably best to keep them away from other children, if possible.

Keep in mind that moms are not invincible – if you’re the one spending the most time with your sick baby, make sure you wash your own hands frequently. Now is not the time for you to get sick, too!

Good hygiene practices and proper disinfection can help prevent germs from spreading in your home.