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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

‘Tis The Season to Avoid Sharing Germs!

By Dr. Laundry December 11, 2007

So, I talked about those tough holiday stains in my last blog and how you can find some great solutions on my toll-free Holiday Stain Hotline is 1-877-STAIN-411 (1-877-782-4641). Today I’d like for you to think a little about the other kind of giving that goes on during the holiday season.


From the elbow-to-elbow holiday mall crowds to home entertaining with family and friends, the bustling activities during the holidays and winter months leaves us all vulnerable to potential cold and flu exposure. Nothing can ruin a good holiday faster than sneezing and coughing your way through those gatherings.


So after getting your flu shot, (you have gotten yours, right?) here are some practical preventative tips from WebMD.com:



  • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!!!

  • Don’t cover your mouth with your hands when sneezing and then touch other items or people

  • Get fresh air, exercise regularly

  • Drink plenty of fluids, eat dark green & yellow vegetables/fruits and yogurt

  • Don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol too heavily

  • RELAX


Surely you know by now that cold and flu viruses are tough little critters. They are spread by direct contact from a contagious person and you. This ranges from being sneezed on to touched. It’s the indirect contact or calling cards they left on surfaces that the contagious person handled up to two hours or so ago that scare me most. I can avoid the wheezing and coughing person, but it’s really hard to know for sure whether Mr. /Ms. Virus person has been in the neighborhood. So here are some tips for those situations:



  • Elevator or ATM buttons: use your knuckle instead of fingertip, or use a tissue

  • Carry a personal size packet of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes for wiping grocery carts and other public handles

  • Carry and use your own pen when signing credit card statements in stores and restaurants

  • At buffets, use your own spoon or utensils to take your food rather than the community spoon

  • Carry a personal hand sanitizer to wipe your hands before eating or before getting back in your car

  • Wash your hands; WASH YOUR HANDS!! 20 seconds of rubbing with soap and warm water is still your best defense


Following these tips and practices will reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu bug. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee neither you nor I will catch one of those stray bugs and put a damper on our holiday season.