Health & Wellness

What Our Family Did to Clean and Prevent Staph and MRSA Type Illnesses

This post is sponsored by Clorox. All opinions, experiences, and stories are 100% my own.

It is common knowledge that cleanliness in our homes, the schools our children attend, and the gyms and locker rooms we use are important in order for us to safeguard our health and enable us to thrive. This holds especially true for our family since we’ve personally experienced illnesses such as Staph, MRSA, and Strep firsthand.

Illnesses we’ve experienced began when we started working our corporate jobs and when the children began going to childcare and school. Sooooo…unless we live in a sanitary bubble alone with no one to talk to, we cannot escape being out in public places. Am I right???

I’ve contracted Shingles twice within one year due to my low immune system and coming into direct contact with someone who also had Shingles or Chicken Pox (Shingles is contagious). The symptoms are very similar to those of Chicken Pox, except the itch is caused by an infection of the nerves and scratching makes whichever side of your body that you have Shingles on very painful. You also feel exhausted and tired (I slept 18-20 hours each day for several days). It was a huge wake-up call for me to take care of my body and my health. It also taught me to slow down and to really be present in the moment.

As for my children … where do I start?! Let’s just say they’ve all gotten Strep at one point in their childhood. The scariest situation, however, was when my eldest (Noah) came home with Staph and MRSA twice. You see, Noah was a varsity wrestler and often practiced with other teams and in other gyms using shared mats and had skin-to-skin contact with other wrestlers. It sure made them want to bathe once, sometimes twice, a day (and if you have kids you totally understand the usual challenge of enforcing the task).

It’s the start of Varsity Wrestling Season and as many of you know, my son Noah was active on the team in high school. I remember the first time Noah came home with Staph during his senior year of high school. It was very scary and I didn’t know what to do back then because Staph is contagious. With many fall sports starting up, it got me thinking about dirty locker rooms and tracking in dirt and germs after a match, and how our family dealt with this issue head on.

Anyone can get MRSA on their body from contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items that have touched infected skin. MRSA infection risk can be increased when a person finds themselves in activities or places that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies.

In case you don’t know what MRSA means, it is short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and it is a common superbug that can be deadly. Caused by a type of Staph bacteria often found on the skin and in the nose, MRSA is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact or touching contaminated items or surfaces. It is also resistant to many antibiotics, making it difficult to treat.

MRSA often causes skin infections, but in some cases, it can cause pneumonia and other ailments. If left untreated, MRSA infections can become severe and cause sepsis – a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body.

Situations like these taught our family VERY IMPORTANT lessons on cleanliness, disinfecting, and using bleach as a preventative measure from reoccurring illnesses. And we definitely made good use of our Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with CLOROMAX®!

Bleach is the first line of defense in a variety of public health situations, from preventing the spread of MRSA in high school gyms to ending norovirus outbreaks. A Clorox® Bleach clean can be the start of a new beginning, like it was for us each time we had to deal with our own outbreaks.

Now that the fall season is here and kids are back in school, it’s more important than ever to prevent illnesses from spreading. Participating in sports and being in close contact with others can cause an infectious disease to spread quickly.

The CDC recommends that cleaning and disinfection should be performed on surfaces that are likely to come in contact with skin to help prevent this type of illness. They recommend the use of detergent-based cleaners or EPA-registered disinfectants, such as Clorox® Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX®. It’s of utmost importance to keep a clean and healthy environment to help prevent MRSA, Norovirus and other infectious diseases from spreading.

To reduce the spread of MRSA in your own home, you’ll want to:
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds – the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice – or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Cover any cuts you may have with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
• Keep to yourself and DO NOT share personal items that come into contact with bare skin (such as towels or razers).
• Use a barrier, such as a towel or clothing, between skin and shared equipment. Be sure to wash used material like clothing, sheets, towels, and more.

Here is my how-to guide for using Clorox® Bleach to clean and disinfect common areas of the home that helped us with prevention when Noah contracted MRSA and Staph:

1. First, you need to disinfect frequently touched hard surfaces, such as kitchen countertops, bathroom sinks and light switches. You also need to clean surfaces by using an EPA-registered disinfectant, such as Clorox® Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX®, to wipe down and disinfect hard non-porous surfaces.

2. To clean surfaces, make sure to use a clean cloth to avoid spreading MRSA from one surface to another. Next create your solution by combining 1/2 cup of disinfecting bleach, such as Clorox® Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX®, diluted in 1 gallon of water. Then thoroughly wet the surface with the solution and allow it to remain on the surface for 5 minutes. Once the time is up, rinse with clean water and dry. I can’t stress enough to always remember how important it is to read and follow the label instructions on all cleaners to make sure they are used safely and appropriately.

3. Next, we cleaned and sanitized Noah’s laundry by sorting laundry by color (whites), then adding detergent, then filling bleach to the maximum line and/or add 2/3 cup of bleach (1/3 cup for HE machine) to dispenser or wash water. Ensure contact with the bleach solution for 10 minutes, add clothes and start wash

These are the tips I learned and continue to use for our family. When we first caught news of Noah getting sick, I felt overwhelmed with where to start and what to do when a contagious illness like Staph occurs in our family. And now that I’ve been through it, my hope is that this post has helps you to become more informed on what you need to do to better prepare yourself if or when a contagious illness takes place.

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