Winter Storm Jonas piled on the snow just as I was getting used to a very mild winter—so much for that! It’s darn cold now, and playing outside with a baby isn’t exactly an option. So to continue to keep my daughter Emmy (and me) entertained, I say, bring on the play dates!
With each play date at my house, there’s guaranteed fun, snacks, coffee talk among the parents, and, no doubt, a playroom explosion of toys. When I spend an hour after every single play date cleaning up the aftermath while my daughter naps, I have to smile because I know how worth it this all is. But with the fun of loads of kids of all ages, including Emmy’s two big brothers, coming and going, I do have to remind myself that we are at the height of cold and flu season, and it’s important that I help protect EVERYONE from germs.
I’m sharing my four simple cleaning and disinfection tips for play dates to help keep everyone protected from germs. After all, your home’s surfaces can be infectious for up to 24 hours! Crazy, I know. Now watch how I like to keep my family healthier during cold and flu season!
Melisa’s Top Tips for Surviving Cold & Flu Season with Kids:
Tip #1: It’s about both cleaning and disinfecting! Whether it’s your living room, kitchen, child’s bedroom or playroom, it’s important to disinfect spaces that your little one likes to explore. Sure cleaning is nice to look tidy, but let’s kill those nasty germs. Lysol Disinfectant Wipes kill 99.9% of germs (including 11 cold and flu viruses), so be sure to wipe down all play spaces and tiny crevasses kids can get into pre- AND post-play date.
Tip #2: There is no better time than now to instill good habits, so wash those little toddler hands. An easy trick is to have snacks already out before your friends arrive; that way you can ask the kids to wash their hands before taking a bite. It’s a great way to ensure outside germs are taken care of almost immediately.
Tip #3: Wash all toys with soapy, hot water on a regular rotation. And when possible use the dishwasher! If the play date is quite large, keep all fluffy, stuffed toys away from the masses. Remember, cold and flu germs can live on for up to two days, and symptoms don’t always show right away, so it’s best to be vigilant.
Tip #4: When it comes to really dirty items in the home such as the dreaded diaper pail, I don’t mess around with the germs found in there, and I choose to use Lysol Disinfectant Spray. I have no idea why my children are drawn to the diaper pail—maybe because it’s the perfect height for new little walkers or they are just so curious to break into it? What I do know is, between every trash bag change, I spray the diaper pail and clean it thoroughly to kill germs, which also helps prevents it from smelling.