I recently viewed a program that discussed the topic of the dangers of hidden germs. What I learned horrified and disgusted me but in no way surprised me. I have always suspected that the public is at best lax when it comes to hygienic principals, but this dosent mean that with a few quick tips and tricks you can't at least be on top of your own home environment.

Your grandmother was right when she used to say fresh air cures all. It has been proven that the circulation of air kills germs. Germs cannot survive at extreme temperatures. The colder the better. Which is why I am a firm believer that unless a child is dreadfully ill, everyone should be outdoors in cold winter months,if even for 10 minutes. We all know that winter months are brutal on our health because the germs are breeding rapidly in a heat filled atmosphere.

Cleanliness is next to godliness-this is true as well. The more sanitized your home is-particularly areas that invite germs (bathroom, kitchen, playroom) the less the opportunity they are to breed. I can commiserate with every Mom that bemoans the fate of the dreaded housekeeping chores, but I find that if I look at it as part of a daily routine i.e. teeth brushing, I get the job done. The idea is to multi-task and set priorities. My home is by no means the neatest as there are toys strewn everywhere but it is sanitary. When I use the bathroom, I take a moment to clean the toilet, wipe down the sink and change the garbage bag. I constantly wipe down counter tops in the kitchen, sweep the floor while my son is playing spray the refrigerator handles and wash the microwave plate as I'm running out the door.

As an educator I learned that by switching children out of play clothes and into a new set of clothes after school reduced their chance of getting sick. This intrigued me, so I researched this theory and found that once again the old ideas are still the best. In grandmothers day children had two sets of clothes; their play clothes and their school clothes. I now abide by this rule and have my son promptly remove his daycare outfit and deposit in the laundry. I may do more laundry overall, but it makes sense that a child would bring home germs on his clothing. I know some people who remove thier shoes and tell others to do the same. I combat this problem with the steam machine. I will devote an entire paragraph to the benefits of steam cleaning in just a moment. I carry small bottles of anti-bacterial wash in the car, my pocketbook, diaper bag etc. I make sure to use it when we have been in public places such as the library,park, mall and of course the doctor's office! (One of the easiest places to get sick).

Hidden Germs

Some could call me a germaphobe and if I am so be it. Knowledge is power and I believe in the saying "an ounce of prevention...." Common sense dictates that we would know to wash our hands but,as this program blithely discussed, most people don't! As much as we try to instill in our young ones personal hygiene, we cannot guarantee that they will obey.

The number one source of illness is the spread of disease via hand contact. This is a fact. In light of this rule, I made a list of everything (and I mean everything) that can be contaminated by touch and proceeded to clean them.

Perhaps you have a list as well. I'm including some places most people don't think of.

Car: Steering wheel, dashboard,door handles,carseat,seatbacks/headrest ,console,KEYS
House: Doorbell/knob,lightswitches,phones,computers,remotes,electronic devices CELL PHONE
toys,books (especially library books. I always wipe themdown before handing over to read)cd's and ipods.
Bag/Pocketbook-wallet,housekeys,money(a little difficult),creditcards,BOTTOM OF THE BAG,handles/straps.

I'm sure you can think of more--clean those too!

In the same vein as cold temperatures, we know that extreme heat kills germs as well. Which brings me back to the steam machine. I have cleaned with and without and can tell you there is abig difference. By the mere fact that cleaning with a machine is easy and convienient and actually fun, you will tend to clean more thoroughly and more often. Models range in price from thousands of dollars to cheap ones for a 100 bucks. As one who has thoroughly researched and purchased a number of styles, I highly recommend the McCullough Heavy Duty Steamer. This machine which I am currently using cost a comfortable 150.00 and does a thorough and expert job of household chores. The a fore mentioned hidden germs are a breeze to clean as the steam disinfects as I wipe. Steam Cleaning offers the added bonus of chemical-free cleaning, although I do sometimes use a combination of the two.

As an educator of small children, my instruments etc are constantly being mouthed and handled. I wanted to find a safe, effective way of sanitizing/cleaning the products. My parents/families have peace of mind knowing that the items are clean without toxic chemicals.

With a steam machine one can also get creative about eliminating germs. I spray the insides of our shoes
to get rid of odor/bacteria. The machine is a godsend in the bathroom. I sanitize the toothbrushes hairbrushes cups and razors and every day paraphanalia with the press of a button.

I know that I can't control the environment but I believe with some minor adjustments to our thinking we can help our family live a healthier life.

Feel free to add your own tricks/tips in the war against germs!

Author's Bio: 

Annette Simmons is a Mom,Entrepreneur and prides herself on sharing relevant information products and research with families.
She is passionate about her work and her family and all her articles reflect personal experience and truth.
visit her website: littlestriderrider.com