What are the ways to maintain home hygiene?

COVID-19 has affected millions of people all around the globe, it's important to maintain hygiene & prevent the disease from entering your house.

Below are a few useful ways and tips to maintain home hygiene and ensure safety for you and your family:

  • Changing and Sharing of Household Things
  • It is a good practice to remove your shoes when you enter your home.
  • Coronavirus can survive in various fabrics for several hours hence you should ideally change into a fresh set of clothes when you return home from outside and put the discarded clothes for washing.
  • Do not share your towels, facecloths, toothbrushes, eating utensils, etc. with other family members.
  • Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces:
    • Use a disinfectant to keep frequently touched surfaces at home clean at all times. 
    • These include light switches, door handles, television remote, fridge door, phones, laptops, etc. 
    • Use a mop or wipe to clean these surfaces properly.
  • Precautions While doing laundry:
    • Wash your laundry, bed linen, handkerchiefs, towels, kitchen napkins, face-cloths frequently.
    • Laundry used by family members who are ill in the house should ideally be washed separately at a higher temperature (at least 60ºC) preferably with a laundry product containing active oxygen bleach to ensure viruses are inactivated.  
    • Wash your hands as soon as you are done washing clothes and other items.
  • Handle Kitchen and Food with Extra Care:
    • Though it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 would infect a person via food however care should be taken while handling food and water. 
    • Wash vegetables, fruits, fish and meat properly under clean running water or use a safe fruit and vegetable disinfectant.
    • Disinfect the kitchen with the help of wipes or kitchen napkins by using phenol or diluted bleach especially after preparing food. 
    • Always use clean utensils to prepare and serve food. 
    • Cook food at higher temperatures and avoid consuming expired food items.
    • Wash your hands before handling ready to eat foods and before eating with your fingers
  • Throw Away Extra Packaging Immediately:
    • Coronavirus can remain stable on various surfaces like cardboard, plastic, etc for several hours.
    • Groceries or any other household items ideally should be kept aside for 2-3 days or disinfected before using.
    • Also, dispose of any additional packaging material like plastic bubble wrap, bags, cardboard boxes, etc. as soon as possible.
    • For home deliveries of food, make sure to transfer the food to your own utensils and reheat it wherever required before consuming.
  • Room Ventilation and Cleaning
    • Keep your home well ventilated and keep the windows open to let fresh air and sunlight in.
    • Minimize the use of air-conditioners and staying in a closed room with no fresh air circulation for a long time.
    • Clean the bathroom regularly and particularly surfaces that come into contact with your hands like the toilet seat, flush handle, taps, door handle after you have used them.  
  • Sterilize Toys, Utensils, and Bottles for Children:
    • Sterilize items that come in contact with kids, along with normal precautions that are necessary to avoid an infection.
  • Manage Waste Smartly:
    • Try to minimize waste and manage it smartly. 
    • Always separate dry and wet waste and keep the waste-bin covered at all times.
    • Any masks, tissues should be disposed of responsibly after being kept in closed lid garbage bins.

Conclusion

COVID-19 is a global pandemic and in the current situation, it is our responsibility to take every precaution to keep ourselves and our families safe as well as not spread it further if diagnosed as positive. One of the best ways that the infection can be controlled is if everyone does their bit to help themselves and each other.

Special thanks to Dr. Aruna Muralidhar(MD, MRCOG (UK), FRCOG (UK), FICM) for expert advice.

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