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We’re in the midst of a perfect storm. We have cold and flu season, plus the added and ongoing threat of COVID-19. And with children being back in school—even if just part-time—there’s a greater chance that they could be exposed to any of these illnesses, says Dr. David Cutler, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“Many of the practices that are being used for the control of COVID-19 are also applicable to the prevention of seasonal respiratory viruses, such as RSV, endemic coronaviruses, rhinovirus and influenza,” Dr. Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor of tropical medicine and infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life.
It starts with the proper use of face masks and hand sanitizers—but even then, it’s still possible for a member of your household to get sick anyway. So it’s always a good idea to stay stocked up on what you need to keep your house as clean as possible and keep tabs on the your family’s health. That way, you’re doing everything you can at home to help keep illness at bay—now and in the coming months.
Here are a few good things to keep around your house—according to health experts—as we contend with cold, flu and COVID-19 season.
Stock up on face masks for the whole family at once with this four-pack by Quality Durables. Each mask is made of two layers of super-soft jersey.
“If one wears a mask, it decreases the transmission of COVID-19 and influenza,” Dr. Rajeev Fernando, an infectious disease expert in Southampton, New York, tells Yahoo Life. It’s a good idea to have masks handy in your home to protect other family members in the event that one of you gets sick, Cutler says.
Shop it: Quality Durables Adults and Kids Reusable Face Covering, $15 to $18 for four, amazon.com
A good thermometer is crucial to have at home, and the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer is perfect for getting a quick body temperature. The temperature will show in seconds on the easy-to-read, large LED digital display.
“Monitoring and recording temperature progression using a working thermometer is important data to provide to health care professionals when needing to discuss the ongoing illness,” says Weatherhead.
This option uses three different sensors to deliver reliable results. Just hold it a few centimeters away from the forehead, push the button and get a quick reading. A nice bonus: The thermometer vibrates when it’s ready instead of beeping, so you don’t have to worry about waking someone who is sleeping.
Shop it: iHealth No Touch Forehead Thermometer, $30 (was $60), amazon.com
Immunity is closely related to lifestyle choices—from the food you eat to how well you sleep. In this new book, Dr. Frank Lipman gives you a seven-step program to a strong immune system and better overall health. Think of it as a visit with a high-end doctor where you get all your questions answered. Smart, current and beautiful (with gorgeous photos), it’s an easy-to-follow roadmap to a resilient immune system—essential reading for COVID times. And it’s on sale right now!
Shop it: The New Rules of Aging Well, $18 (was $25), amazon.com
Mr. Clean is back in stock on Amazon! This 176-ounce bottle of cleanser kills 99.9 percent of bacteria. Use it to sanitize countertops, floors and high-touch surfaces.
“Always keep cleaning products on hand in the home,” says Margaret Quinn, a clinical associate professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing. “There is no reason to hoard products, but use the general rule of using one bottle and having a second on hand.”
Shop it: Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Summer Citrus Antibacterial Liquid Cleaner, $24, amazon.com
“It’s important to note this up front: A pulse oximeter won’t diagnose COVID-19 or the flu, but it can give you an indication if someone doesn’t have enough oxygen in their blood,” Fernando says.
This pulse oximeter slides onto your fingertip and gives a reading in seconds (your blood oxygen saturation should be anywhere between 95 and 100 percent, according to the World Health Organization).
“Typically patients with mild-moderate COVID can remain home during the course of the illness,” Weatherhead says. “However, if oxygen saturation starts to decline, this is an immediate indication to seek medical care.”
Take note: A pulse oximeter won’t work well if you’re wearing dark nail polish, so it’s important to remove any nail color before use.
Shop it: Zacurate Fingertip Pulse Oximeter, $18, amazon.com
Lysol hand sanitizer is truly the gold standard: It kills 99.99 percent of germs in as little as 15 seconds thanks to its 70 percent alcohol formula, which follows CDC guidelines. This version is particularly nice, as it’s enriched with moisturizing aloe vera and leaves behind a refreshing lemon scent. With this bundle, you’ll get six travel-sized bottles for $17—that breaks down to about $2.80 a pop. You’ll get the hand sanitizer from trusted seller Pharmapacks, which has high ratings and solid customer service.
Shop it: Lysol Hand Sanitizer, 2-ounce (six-pack), $17, amazon.com
“Having extra hand soap is always important, as everyone should be washing their hands more frequently throughout the day,” Quinn says.
Stock up with this eight-pack from Seventh Generation in a pleasant Fresh Lemon scent. The naturally derived gel hand wash is triclosan-free and biodegradable. And, most importantly, it gets the job done.
Shop it: Seventh Generation Purely Clean Hand Wash Soap, Fresh Lemon, 12-ounce (eight-pack), $24 (was $26), amazon.com
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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