Tag Archives: germs

Keeping Pests and Rodents at Bay

The weather’s warming up (finally!) and with the sunshine comes unwanted pests like insects and rodents. As these creatures venture out of their hibernation nests and start exploring, they’ll sometimes make their way into your home. What’s a healthy mom to do?

Well, you don’t want them bringing germs into your home, but using poisons to keep them away can harmful to children and small pets. Fortunately, there are safer and more natural ways to keep your house free of pests.

file0001062282119 300x200 Keeping Pests and Rodents at Bay

There are ways to keep pests away without dangerous poisons.

1. Keep it clean. Bugs and rodents usually make their way inside for two reasons: to stay dry and to find food. Keeping your home clean, particularly in the kitchen, removes one of those incentives.

2. Seal holes. If mice and insects are finding their way in, find out where and seal those holes up tight. Common places include areas around doors and windows, especially in basements and garages that tend to be more neglected.

3. Deter with peppermint. Mice and many unwanted insects dislike the smell of peppermint. Spray a solution of peppermint extract or essential oil and water around windows, doors, the foundation of your home, and any problem areas. Planting peppermint in your yard can also help!

4. Use sound. You can buy devices that emit a high frequency sound that keeps away bugs and rodents!

Mice and bugs aren’t just annoying – they can carry harmful germs and illnesses into your home! Keep them away with these natural methods.

 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

How to Avoid Germs at the Gym

You go to the gym or health club to stay healthy – but it doesn’t really work out that way when you’re picking up all kinds of germs and bringing them home with you. As the weather cools down, many of us are getting back to the gyms and health spas to get our exercise in. Here are a few tips for avoiding germs and illnesses!

gymgerms 300x201 How to Avoid Germs at the Gym

Avoiding the germ fest at the gym

  • Choose wisely. Be sure the gym or health club you’re frequenting is up to safety standards. It should be clean, well-maintained, and well-ventilated.
  • Bring your own gear. Working out with a friend is incredibly motivating – but don’t share gear. It’s just not sanitary.
  • Wear your shoes. Don’t go barefoot – you never know what kind of foot fungi are lurking on the floor! You can get shower shoes to wear more comfortably in the shower or sauna.
  • Disinfect. Bring hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to wipe down equipment before you use it.
  • Bring your own water. Filling up at the water fountain might put more than just H2O into your water bottle. Bring your own to keep the guesswork out.
  • Arrive home safely. As always, wipe your feet on Dr. Doormat upon arriving home and toss your gym clothes right in the wash!

Don’t let the gym make you sick – you’re there to stay healthy, after all!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Protecting Your Family From the Flu This Season

There’s a lot to look forward to as the seasons change, but some aspects of the transition aren’t so welcome. One that we’re all familiar with is the flu. It seems to pop up like clockwork leaving many people sick and miserable for days – or even weeks.

avoidingtheflu 300x191 Protecting Your Family From the Flu This Season

Don’t end up like this poor guy – take steps to protect your health!

Nobody likes going in to get the flu shot, but the fact is the flu vaccine reduces the odds of getting the flu by 70% to 90%. The other alternative is the nasal spray vaccine which my 10 year old prefers.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, those who live with or interact with small children and babies, pregnant women, the elderly and anyone else who is immune-compromised for any reason should place extra importance on getting the shot, as those around them are relying on herd immunity for safety from the illness.

Other groups are also at higher risk for developing influenza:

  • Small children, elderly men and women, and pregnant women
  • Native Americans
  • Those with certain medical conditions like asthma and heart disease
  • Those with weakened immune systems from medications or conditions such as HIV, AIDS, or cancer
  • Obese men and women (those with a body-mass-index of 40 or greater)

You can also take a few natural preventative measures – check out my last post on avoiding the flu for some healthy (and often overlooked!) tips on how to do so.

And of course – wipe those feet on Dr. Doormat each and every time you come home. Make your home a safe haven from germs and don’t let them inside. I’m running out to get my shot today.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Statistics show that most of us will, at some point, come down with some type of foodborne illness in our lifetime. According to WebMD, 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness every year. Of those, “128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die each year after eating tainted food.” Even though most cases of foodborne illness are not life threatening, it’s a good idea to try to avoid getting sick by following a few basic food safety practices. Read on to learn how to avoid food poisoning both at home and while dining out.

Food Safety At Home

Color-code your towels. Keeping the towels you use in different parts of the home is more hygienic and can prevent cross contamination. For example, you might use white towels in the kitchen, yellow towels in the bathroom, and orange towels for cleaning other parts of the home.

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before and after handling any food – particularly raw meats, fruits and vegetables.

Clean all produce – even organic. Fruits and vegetables can harbor dirt, pesticides, and even germs and viruses from other peoples’ hands. Fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw are especially important to clean well.

Disinfect tabletops and countertops with vinegar before and after eating or cooking.

Thoroughly wash all dishes in hot, soapy water.  If you wash your dishes by hand, sanitize cutting boards and cooking utensils with vinegar as well.

Don’t leave leftovers sitting out after grocery shopping or serving a meal. Refrigerate and freeze foods right away.

Don’t thaw meat on the kitchen counter. Instead, use the refrigerator or cold running water. Use a meat thermometer when cooking to ensure that your food is cooked thoroughly.

Avoid Food Poisoning While Dining Out

 Avoid Food Poisoning! 10 Steps to Protect Against Foodborne Illness

Dining out without side effects

Wash your hands (after you order!) You probably already wash your hands before eating at a restaurant – only to come back to the table to grab the very dirty and unwashed menu. Wash up after ordering to keep your hands clean.

Skip the lemon.  While you might enjoy a slice of lemon in your water or tea, skip them when dining out. One study found that 75% of lemon wedges carry illness causing germs and bacteria. The truth is, restaurant staff are not always as hygienic in their food preparation as is ideal and it’s inevitable that someone’s unwashed hands will dip into the lemon wedge bin to garnish a drink – it just happens. Skip the lemons.

Give the booth a wipe down. Carry sanitizing wipes in your bag to give chairs and booths a quick once-over before you sit down. While the tables are washed between each party, sometimes the seating is skipped! You can avoid carrying home a lot of germs and pathogens on your clothing by using this tip.

Foodborne illness isn’t fun – follow these tips to stay safe and protect your family.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Avoiding the Flu – Easily Overlooked Areas

Every year like clockwork, a new strain of the Influenza virus makes its rounds, leading many people to take precautions against illness. Some get the flu shot, while others rely on more natural preventative measures.

Whether you take either of these approaches, one thing everyone needs to pay attention to is good hygiene. Practicing good hygiene can have a significant impact on inhibiting the spread of illness.

Aside from the basic practices of hand washing and staying home when sick, don’t overlook these commonly ignored sources of contamination during flu season:

  •  Avoiding the Flu   Easily Overlooked Areas

    Germs at your fingertips!

    Clean the knick-knacks. When you stop to think about it, there are a lot of little items we touch and use every day that don’t always get cleaned on a regular basis! Remote controls, car keys, your cell phone and electronics all harbor a lot of germs when they aren’t cleaned often.

  • Toys. Similarly, your kids’ toys should be cleaned on a regular basis or the germs will thrive. Involve your kids to teach them the importance of good hygiene.
  • School supplies. It’s well known among parents that illness spreads like wildfire in schools. During flu season, take extra care to avoid bringing home the bug on your kids’ school stuff. Clean out the backpack and wipe down books and supplies regularly.
  • I make it a rule that when we come home we wipe our shoes on our antimicrobial treated  doormat, put our coats and hats away and go wash our hands with soap and water.  That includes guests too.  It really helps.
  • Shop smart. Even sick people need to eat – that’s why grocery stores are an incredibly easy place to contract an illness. Wipe down your shopping cart with antibacterial cloths, wash your grocery bags often and as always, wash your food before you eat it!
  • Give the car a good clean. Vehicles are often neglected when it comes to cleaning, so take the opportunity to give it a thorough clean – there’s no better time than when an illness is going around.
  • Do not share utensils or drinking glasses. Eating in public places? Ask the waiter for a cup of boiling water and let the utensils soak for a minute or two and wipe down before using.  Why risk the obvious.  A little action and awareness can go along way in keeping the family healthy all winter long.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

The brave and forward thinking Dr. who discovered that washing hands reduces deaths and infections

I was searching around the internet about a year ago and wondered who the first person was that figured out we should wash our hands to reduce the spread of germs.  I also figured out why the popular brand of hand sanitizer is called Purell.  I came across this story and wanted to share it with you to expand on and explain the importance of hand washing.

In 1847, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis pioneered the prevention of transmission of disease by washing hands (Prophylaxis), reducing the mortality rate due to Puerperal Fever from 12% to almost ZERO by enforcing the washing of hands with chlorinated lime.

At the time, Dr. Semmelweis’ hypothesis was considered extreme and was widely rejected and ridiculed. When he refused to compromise his beliefs, the hospital that employed him was pressured into terminating his clinical privileges. Semmelweis’ sole “crime” was that he proposed a contrarian idea to current thinking, which directly challenged the (incorrect) current medical theories of his time.

Despite the continued ridicule, hostility, and unemployment, Dr. Semmelweis tirelessly promoted his theory, sometimes denouncing physicians who refused to wash their hands as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries eventually concluded that he was crazy and, in 1865, committed him to a mental institution where he was beaten to death by guards.

 Why Wash Your Hands? The Importance of Hand Washing

Proved the germ theory of disease

Dr. Semmelweis’s theory was considered irrelevant, until Louis Pasteur connected germs to disease, and Prophylaxis is now considered standard practice around the world. The 1800s medical community’s refusal to consider his theories earlier clearly resulted in the continued unnecessary spread of disease and death throughout the world.

Backward and reactionary thinking did not die with Dr. Semmelweis in 1865. Highly qualified and competent physicians, scientists, healthcare personnel, and government employees continue to suffer similar retaliation throughout the United States, which is why organizations like Semmelweis Society International and the Alliance for Patient Safety participated in the recent Whistleblower Week in Washington.

The Semmelweis Society International annually recognizes individual Healthcare Providers, Researchers, and associated personnel, who have regularly challenged the status quo, who have reported issues, often controversial issues, regarding patient health and safety. Semmelweis Awardees have often had to endure the tyranny of threats and retaliation, and actual financial ruination, in some cases. Without these courageous individuals, progress and innovation in medicine, public service, and industry is inhibited, or negated.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

10 Winter Tips for Fresh Air Indoors

We all tend to spend a lot more time indoors during the cold winter months. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, on average.

 10 Winter Tips for Fresh Air Indoors

Let your house breath this winter by opening the window when you clean.

Homes today are built and designed to be tighter and closed to control heating costs and operate more efficiently while keeping our homes comfortable in the cold weather.  Since it’s can be difficult to make sure that your space is well-ventilated when it’s freezing outside, it’s important to look for other ways to keep clean indoor air.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to improve the quality of the air in your home this winter:

  1. Clean humidifiers regularly. Using these devices is common practice in the winter when the air is drier, but if they aren’t cleaned often, they can throw germs and toxins into the air.
  2. Use an air purifier. Some air filtration devices can remove up to 99% of the air pollution in your home!
  3. Ventilate as much as possible! While you definitely won’t be hanging around with your windows open all day like you can in the summer, consider opening them while you’re cleaning just to get some fresh air flowing in.  Reduce your use of aerosol cleaning sprays.
  4. Don’t forget about the exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens – these can be very helpful for ventilating your home.  Make sure the fan and screen are clean and free of grease and debris.
  5. Be sure to check the dryer in the laundry room see that it is properly ventilated outside reducing further dust circulation.
  6. Vacuum cleaner- Make sure the bag or canister is changed regularly and the cleaning head sanitized before use.

     10 Winter Tips for Fresh Air Indoors

    Dust and debris circulates though the central heating & air conditioning system.

  7. Duct Work- Have them sucked out or clean the screen or cover on the air intake.
  8. Change the air filters on the heating furnace.
  9. Wipe your feet on Dr. Doormat as you enter the home. Avoid bringing outdoor pollutants carried on the soles of your shoes inside by using one of our antimicrobial treated mats to remove the toxins from your shoes.
  10. Do not shake out doormats, bath mats or sheets in the home.  The small tiny dust particles will be launched and circulated through the air vents all over the house.

Follow these tips to improve your indoor air quality this winter so that you and your family can breathe easy and stay healthy while staying warm inside.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

We practically live out of our cars.  

Here are 7 common sense tips for keeping the car clean.

Once upon a time in this great nation it was a luxury to own a car. When suburban sprawl, soccer games, cheerleading practice, football camp and sleepovers became the norm, what was a luxury became a necessity. While plenty of urban parents and children pack up equipment and coolers and take public transportation, the majority of the soccer moms are packing as many players as they can into their car-pooling auto.

 7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

Gearing up in the family SUV

The term auto is used loosely. More than likely the suburban mother of today is driving an SUV or van – the 2012 version of the old station wagon from the days of Leave it to Beaver. While fathers still drive their sporty cars to work, the work car is driven by the moms.

Whether a soccer mom or working person, we all seem to live in our cars. Think about all the time spent in stop and start commuting traffic. Then comes the taxi team hauling everyone and his brother to practices, recitals, play dates and maybe camping trips. Do not forget the daily trips to the super market, mall and big box stores. How does anyone make time for themselves? Usually, lunch time or break time means eating on the run.

 7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

The Family Taxi

How many carloads of rambunctious cheerleaders have passed through the Golden Arches after a game. After everyone orders their favorite super-sized meal and devours as much as possible while still talking and waving their arms around, there are more French fries on the floor of the car than ever hit the collective mouths. Mom ordered her favorite, too, which means not only fries on the floor, but spilled cola on the arm rest and crumbs down the front of her shirt.

This is life in America. We love it. So do all the germs and bacteria that hide in your car when you close the doors for the afternoon or evening. Your auto becomes a rolling lab specimen. In the hot, closed environment all the bad bacteria grow and flourish. And when the next person or group of children enters the car, they come in contact with all these vermin. Are the sniffles, flu bug or allergic reactions too far away?

It is virtually impossible for Americans to maintain the interior of their vehicles so they are germ free.   Here are 7 common sense ways to eliminate some of these invading microorganisms and viruses before they can do damage.

  1. You’ll need a garbage can, vacuum cleaner, paper towels, non-toxic, odor free cleaning spray and a litter-bag.
  2. Pull all the car mats out, shake and vacuum at least once a week and then believe it or not you should be able to wash those mats in a front-loading washing machine, and hang to dry.  Only as needed of course.
  3. Open all the doors, empty all the trash under all those seats and start cleaning.

     7 Tips To Keeping The Car Clean

    The cars takes a bath

  4. One major helpful tip:  Before and After you vacuum, clean the head of the vacuum cleaner with a sanitizing spray or solution.  This prevents the transfer of virus’s and other nasty germs from being spread around.   If you use a public car wash, make them use a spray or sanitizer or your car will be dirtier after they vacuum.
  5. Once a quarter have the floors shampooed at a professional car wash.
  6. Purchase a good size container of anti-bacterial wipes. Make it a game for the kids. Once they are secured in their seats have them wipe that portion of the seatbelts that they touch. They should also wipe the door handles before they touch them the first time. Don’t forget to wipe the steering wheel as well! Keep a litter-bag in the car for all the used wipes and pitch in the trash when you get home.
  7. Buy a large size container of anti-bacterial spray. You may wish to spray the seats and floors when you know the car will not be used any further for the day or evening. When you spray the interior and close the doors, while the car sits unused for seven hours, all the bacteria on the seats and floors will have been killed.  Air out in the morning before the family climbs aboard for another day.

You have not eliminated all the germs in the car, but you have made great strides in reducing your family’s exposure to harmful virus’s and toxins tracked in on our shoes.  It’s always a pleasure to drive a clean car.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

 3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

Crisp Autumn Day

Football season is in full swing, apple picking time is here, and the leaves are beginning to turn. Fall has arrived. However, we all know the cool crisp air also marks the start of cold and flu season.

We’ve all been there when one child comes home sick and you have to go into defense mode trying to prevent the spread of illness to the rest of the family.

 3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

It’s that time of year

What are some good ways beyond hand washing to prevent the spread of the germs?  The Dr. Doormatblog is here to help with your defense and to clean up once the illness has run its course.   Check out these 3 tips for battling the bugs this coming cold & flu season!

1.    Wash it out. If one family member comes home sick get everyone’s sheets and blankets in the laundry ASAP. Beds are an easy harbor for germs- especially because kids tend to put schoolbags and books down on them to study. Make sure to use hot water! Is your washing machine clean?

Also make sure to wash pillow covers from the couch, stuffed animals, towels, backpacks and jackets as needed.

2.   Quick Wipe Down. Do a quick clean with a natural disinfectant of the following high-use spots: Door knobs, handles on the refrigerator, sinks/faucets, bathrooms, kitchen table, remotes, video game controllers, toys and backpacks. 

Looking for an easy, natural disinfectant? Vinegar is a great solution! Read about more natural ways to disinfect here. You’ll  be pleasantly surprised that most of this list is probably already in your cabinets!

Wiping down your car is important too- give your steering wheel, window controls, seat belt buckles, car and booster seats some attention. 

3.   Let the Air Flow. Get fresh air moving through your home by opening windows and running fans. You can also try spraying an all-natural disinfectant air freshener. Stagnant air flow and constant recirculation harbor germs especially in bedrooms and playrooms.

 3 Flu Prevention Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season!

No need to gear up with a HazMat suit

A fresh breeze will make everyone feel better and keep the air moving. 

Make sure your fans and window casings have been cleaned recently to prevent the spread of dust and grime!  In addition to these three tips I also throw the toothbrush away and start fresh.

 

What are some cleaning methods you use during cold and flu season? We’d love to hear them- share with us on Twitter & Facebook!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.