Have you ever wondered why people get sick more often in the winter? Although we’ve been trained to believe that we need to “bundle up or we’ll catch a cold,” the temperature outside has nothing to do with it. The truth is, during the colder winter months we stay cooped up indoors, where we more frequently come into contact with other people and their germs. From holiday parties to grocery stores and school to work, we commute from one germ-infested location to another, carrying the germs along with us as we go. Luckily, there ARE things we can do to fight germs this winter season that will give you and your family a better chance of winning the germ war.

Let’s start small. It goes without saying; regular hand washing is the key to stopping germs from spreading, especially for people who are already sick. Think about carrying hand sanitizer in your car or purse to have on-hand when you need it.

Next, consider the little things around your house that you touch all the time, but may not think to clean routinely. Disinfect light switches, knobs, handles, toys and even the buttons on your electronic equipment more often during the cold and flu season.

Now, let’s think about other ways that germs can enter our home. Aside from dirt and grime, your shoes can track germs throughout your house and imbed them in the carpet and floors on which your kids play every day. Make it a habit for guests and family members to remove their shoes at the door as soon as they enter your home.

Look at the soft surfaces in your home. We come into constant contact with bed sheets, blankets and pillowcases, as wells as couch cushions and throw pillows, so these items should also be washed or cleaned frequently. In addition, do the laundry regularly; it doesn’t help to have your clothes sitting in the hamper.

Finally, the big dogs – the kitchen and bathroom. Your kitchen countertops and sink are big germ collectors in a home. Sterilize the sink and countertops every day. Your bathroom is, perhaps, the most popular spot for germs. The excessive moisture makes the bathroom a breeding ground for microbial bacteria. Clean the bathroom toilet about once a week, and the sink and countertops daily.

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