Family 411: Keeping the flu from spreading at home

How to best clean to get rid of the germs during flu season (WSYX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) - This flu season has been brutal and people are still getting sick. It's tough to keep the bug from spreading.

Once it does hit your family there are things you can do to fight the spread of flu.

Professional cleaner Monica Trembley has years of experience when it comes to making sure a home doesn't just look nice, but it's really clean. "Germs can live on surfaces up to 24 hours. So you really need to be aware of that."

The kids' bathroom is target number one for Monica, who says it's easy for children to bring home germs from school. "We like to disinfect when we can. Not only just dust but we like to use a chemical that will clean."

There are plenty of products on the market. But you should make sure they're effective, according to New Albany Cleaning's Greg Standley. "A lot of labels sometimes just say cleaner but they don't say disinfectant."

Jennifer Standley is a working mother of four children. So, when her son got the flu she went into cleaning overdrive. "You have one child that gets sick, then you worry about that trickle down of multiple illnesses and your family."

The experts tell us to think about hot spots in your home. "Remotes and telephones definitely sometimes are more proven to be more bacteria filled than a bathroom."

Monica says it's important to teach kids to close the lid and flush so you are not putting germs in the air. "You are exposing your tooth brush, other items you are going to end up sticking in your mouth."

"Never just have a bare trash can," said Greg. "Always have a liner in it so it can be changed. those Harbor more germs sometimes than toilets do."

Wipe down toys. Wash stuffed animals. Light switches and door knobs should be disinfected daily if somebody in the family has the flu. "It definitely is a concern. Especially this winter with the numbers that have been in the hospital and fatalities. It's a real concern," said Jennifer.

According to the American Cleaning Institute, any disinfecting product which claims it can eradicate the flu virus has to first be approved by the EPA and carry a registration number somewhere on the bottle.

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