Germ Etiquette 101

Germ Etiquette 101

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by our friends at Chloraseptic®. All opinions expressed by me about the brand are true, and my own. 

To celebrate my youngest daughter turning 4, we planned a birthday party for her at our home. We decorated the house with balloons and streamers in her favorite colors, made a yummy chocolate cake, and prepared loot bags with trinkets to hand out at the end of the party.

On the morning of the event, my husband was speaking to his brother, who mentioned his kids had been down with the flu the day before, but that they “wouldn’t dream of missing the party”.

When my husband told me this, I asked him, “Did you ask them not to come?” but he replied, “No, I didn’t want to be rude.”

I called my brother-in-law back, and uninvited his family. I felt uncomfortable, even awkward, doing it, but I promised we’d see them soon. Though I was cringing, I explained that it wouldn’t be fair to the other guests to risk contracting a nasty virus at our daughter’s party. He understood.

Sometimes, when you wear the title of “Mom”, you have to be the bad guy. You must grit your teeth and bear it every time you take your kids for a needle, enforce bedtime, or make them eat their veggies, because you know it’s for the greater good.

Colds, flu, and other nasty viruses are no laughing matter, and I will risk possibly insulting someone if it means I will help prevent the spread of viruses. In fact, I believe keeping germs to yourself is common courtesy.

When my kids are sick, I keep them home from school. Parents shouldn’t head into the office when they’re sick, either. No one’s going to think you’re a hero for going in, so don’t believe you’re impressing people with your dedication. They’ll probably just resent you for spreading your contagions!

My Germ Etiquette Tips:

  • Wash your hands – often! Use soap and warm water and scrub for at least 15 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow – never into your hands.
  • Use disinfectant sprays or wipes on high-touch surfaces in your home, regularly, and definitely after you’ve been sick.
  • Stay home from school, work, and other social settings when you’re sick.
  • Excuse yourself from hugs, kisses, handshakes when viruses are abundant.
  • Use tissues – not a handkerchief to wipe your nose. Throw those germs away!

Should someone in my family still get sick, I stealthily switch from preventative- to reactive-Mom mode, and help manage the symptoms:

For fever or headache, a dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen helps with pain and to bring down a temperature (be sure to follow directions). For stomach flu, I keep a bucket handy and offer plenty of empathy. For sore throats, I use Chloraseptic spray (safe for kids over the age of 3, with parental supervision). Chloraseptic is the #1 pharmacist-recommended brand for sore throat liquids/sprays.

While our family prefers Cherry-flavored Chloraseptic fast-acting sore throat spray, the Menthol flavor is just as effective. For those who prefer lozenges over sprays, Chloraseptic’s Max Wild Berry Lozenge also targets the pain right when it hurts, right where it hurts.

No one enjoys being sick, so Mama, put on your big-girl panties and don’t be afraid to be vocal about doing your part to keep cold and flu germs from spreading!

Photo credits: featured image: vitapix/Thinkstock, hand on railing: panathea/Thinkstock, woman sneezing: sebarnes/Thinkstock, hands being washed: hxdbzxy/Thinkstock

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Natalie Rea
Natalie Rea
Mom to two amazing daughters - a feisty teen in middle school, and an ambitious young adult in university. Originally from Montréal's West Island, I now explore the beautiful trails of Hamilton, Ontario. Proud Canadian, vegetarian, dog-adopter, & bleeding-heart liberal. I smile a lot because I have Resting Bitch Face.
Natalie Rea