It’s March – the time of the year when you’re hedging your bets and taking every precaution you can to avoid the last rounds of flu and sinus infections. Whether you’ve used all your sick days or miraculously dodged a salvo of sniffly bullets, we’re all in the same boat. We’ll do whatever it takes to sneak through the rest of winter without running into (another) infection.
Can bedding spread sickness?
The risk of transmission by textiles varies depending on the type of infection and the amount of contact a sick person has with bedding. Clothing, towels, and linens can definitely spread germs. But when you or someone in your family does get sick, you can do more than just take Echinacea, eat garlic, and pray. What follows is a list of steps that will empower you to eliminate the velveteen mattress and skate through the end of winter unscathed (or at least less-frequently scathed).
Wash the hands! When one person in a household is sick, everyone should immediately activate maximum hand-washing mode. That’s doubly important for whoever is sick and anyone directly involved in taking care of them. Keeping hand sanitizer in all places inhabited by the invalid will cut down on the spread of germs.
Remove residue. The provision of care and comfort is not for the faint of heart. As quickly and often as possible, it’s vital to eliminate all solids. Most can be flushed down the toilet. Anything that emanates from a sick person should be considered dangerous, and gloves should be worn by anyone handling that kind of material.
Wash often. Sheets should definitely be washed any time they’re soiled, and they should be washed more frequently than usual when used by someone with a contagious illness. To ensure safety, wash bedding with hot water and bleach. Keeping bleach-safe “sick sheets” isn’t a terrible policy.
Stop sharing. Co-sleeping doesn’t mean you can’t be careful. The discomfort of a few nights on the couch rarely outweighs the misery of the flu. It’s not unloving to sleep separately during sickness. It actually makes the healthy caretaker more capable of taking good care.
Build a barrier. To add even more protection to the home environment, start using an impermeable mattress cover at the first sign of illness, if not all the time. These allergen-proof covers are designed for allergy and asthma sufferers, and they do the trick. If you keep the germs out of the mattress in the first place, they won’t be able to infect anyone else.
Be thorough. Don’t forget to include all linens in your amped-up cleaning efforts. This includes pillows (which can be hung out in the sun), blankets, and bed spreads. Some families just assume a trip to the Laundromat will be part of the family-sickness routine. The opportunity to use multiple high-capacity washers at once is always worth the trip and can reduce the frustration involved in your already disrupted week. Plus, it creates an opportunity to get out of the house!
We can help!
If you need help prepping your home for flu season, we can help. Visit A Goodnight Sleepstore for linens, mattress protectors, and other bedding accessories that will help you keep your home healthy for the whole family all year long.