Published on December 03, 2018

Don’t Fear Your Winter Gear

Toss your outerwear into the washer weekly to fight germs.

Hats, scarves and gloves add some color to gray KC winters and keep you cozy and warm. They also attract unwanted visitors … germs.

woman wearing a stocking cap, scarf and gloves

Winter wear makes the perfect hideout for respiratory bacteria and viruses like the common cold, flu, rotavirus and norovirus. The flu virus can live on clothing for 2-3 days. Rotaviruses and noroviruses can cling to clothes for up to four weeks. And, as you travel from place to place all bundled up, you spread those germs.

Gloves. From ATM buttons to door knobs, hands touch plenty of public surfaces in a day. Take off your gloves before reaching out. Then, sanitize your hands.

Scarves. Scarves protect your face and neck from Old Man Winter. They also
collect coughs, sneezes and nose drips.

Hats. Tucking your gloves inside your hat for safekeeping creates the
perfect place for germs to co-mingle. The same goes for tissue-stuffed pockets.

Wash and Wear

Wash gloves, hats and scarves at least once a week, or more often if they
are visibly dirty. Wash your coat with empty pockets turned inside out.
Clean gear doesn’t guarantee a germ-free winter, but it’s a great start.

Other Tips

  • Let wet gear dry completely before putting it away.
  • Take your gloves off from back to front. Don’t use your teeth.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your gloves and after touching public surfaces with bare hands.

When the cold, flu and other minor illness get you down, visit a Meritas Health Express convenient care clinic for a treatment plan that will set you on the road to a quick recovery.

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