Simple solutions for a healthier home and family
Us against the allergens: The twin threat of pollen and pollution may keep the allergy-prone indoors, but for many the real trouble begins inside the house. Pet dander, dust mites, dust mite feces, mold, and other indoor allergens and irritants are nothing to sneeze, or wheeze, at, especially if there is a history of asthma or allergies in your family. One tip for limiting exposure to dust mites (and dust mite feces - yuck) is to vacuum your home weekly. Your big carpet manufactures recommend that you vacuum a minimum of three times per week. Consider investing into a true HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filter vacuum, which traps dust mites, dust mite feces and other allergens. If anyone in your family shows signs of a pet allergy, try to keep your child and Fido in different rooms (and definitely not in the same bed).
The bedroom: Between plush pillows, fluffy blankets, and flowing drapery, the bedroom isn't only a cozy haven for its human occupants, it's also a great haven for Dust Mites. According to the research 60% or more of all dust mites live in the bedroom with you. In their short life span they will 'poop' 100 times their body weight. Sheets and pillow cases should be washed on a weekly basis. If you own a HEPA vacuum you can vacuum the mattress while the sheets are in the wash.
The Kitchen: You might be cooking more than just delicious meals for your family in the kitchen, so you will need to pay particular attention to food safety when you're in the kitchen or any other place where you might be preparing food. To clean you babies high chair, put the tray directly in the dishwasher for a good scrub. To get the 'gunk' out of the high chair's crevices go at it with some dental floss, a toothpick, or with a cotton swab dipped in a disinfectant cleaner. A safe, but effective, cleaner to use on your counter tops is hydrogen peroxide. Apply with a sponge and give it a minute to 'fizzle'. When it 'fizzles' it is killing anaerobic bacteria (the dangerous kid).
The bathroom: Your visit to the bathroom each day might a quick in and out, but bacteria like to hang around long after the toilet flushes. There are actually more germs in the kitchen (surprise!), but plenty still call the bathroom 'Home Sweet Home'. Water vapor (plus the toilets contents) erupts from the toilet like a mini bacteria volcano every time you flush, landing on whatever is nearby - including your toothbrush. Closing the lid before you flush will prevent you from brushing your teeth with toilet water.
The playroom: Germs can get passed around in a playroom faster than a race car at the Indy 500. More colds are spread through the hands than any other organ. There's no better way to stop the spread of colds and germs than by washing your hands. Instead of buying expensive wipes and germ soaps run your hands under water for at least 20 seconds rinsing thoroughly. You may want to save those wipes for when guests are over. Check Junior's toys and see if they can be safely washed in the dishwasher.