Is Your Car Making You Sick?

If you’re constantly on the go, your car can feel like your second home. But your vehicle can be carrying some uninvited passengers: illness-causing bacteria. Do you know what’s riding in your car? Find out how to keep your family healthy on the road and beyond.

Is Your Car Making You Sick?

For busy parents, cars are full of kids and groceries, meals and snacks, toys, clothes and sporting goods. Yet within this seemingly-innocuous flurry of activity, your vehicle can also be transporting illness-causing bacteria like diarrhea-causing E.coli, Enterobacteria (feces), Serratia (vomit), and Aspergillus niger, the mold that exacerbates asthma. Dr. Oz explains which areas of your car are hot spots for pathogens, and how to keep your ride safe for caravanning.

Germ Hot Spot #1:
Car Mats. Your shoes track in an array of bacteria from the ground. These germs burrow into the fibers of the mat and can contaminate the bottom of your clothes. Anytime you drop a lipstick or some change and feel around on the mat, you risk contaminating yourself.

Safe Solution: Replace carpet mats with rubber, removable car mats. These are easy to take out of your car and cleanse with soap and water.

Germ Hot Spot #2: The Driver’s Seat (including the steering wheel and interior door handles.) Your steering wheel becomes a repository for anything that’s on your hands. Anytime you eat in the car, your fingers touch food and the steering wheel, directly exposing you to bacteria.

Safe Solution: Regularly wipe off the wheel and seat area using anti-bacterial wipes or a foaming car cleanser, which can be found at local hardware stores.

Germ Hot Spot #3: In Between the Seats. Kids (and adults) can drop food in between the seats, which can burrow into your car’s cracks and crevices. This dark, enclosed area becomes the perfect environment for growing bacteria.

Safe Solution: Keep a small cooler in the car to cut down on food debris. Additionally, clean your car once a week with a vacuum upholstery attachment to reach into the cracks and crevices.

Germ Hot Spot #4: Air Conditioning Vents. When humidity is high, particularly in the summer, water accumulates in the vents. This moisture allows fungi to bloom.

Safe Solution: Eliminate water by using a long brush with a cloth around it that can reach into the vent to clean out spores. You can also kill fungi by putting the heat on for 10 minutes and having a mechanic change your filter every year.

7 Essential Items to Have for a Pandemic Date, According to a Relationship Expert

Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert Vikki Ziegler says you should treat COVID-19 like an STD.

Just when we thought relationships and dating could not get any more complicated, the pandemic took this matter to a whole new level. Celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert, Vikki Ziegler receives an abundance of questions about this exact topic, every single day. Her fans and followers message her via her social media channels, in the hopes of finding the right way to safely date during these times. So, if this topic has crossed your mind, rest assured you are not alone.

For those who used to "swipe left and right," on the regular, Vikki recommends slowing down for the time being, no matter what type of antibacterial wipes are being used between your swipes. Serial dating during COVID-19 can be dangerous and also very selfish at the same time. This might be a good time to either take a break from dating altogether, or invest more time in one relationship and being monogamous, at least for right now. "Everyone should treat COVID-19 as they do an STD, while dating and practice safe EVERYTHING, even beyond just intimacy," says Ziegler. "This will simplify the process and make the do's and don'ts much less complex."

She recommends that new partners keep the dating virtual prior to both being tested and or having the vaccine. "Screendating" can still be both fun and safe at the same time. She suggests that you still wear your favorite new dress, get that fresh haircut or blowout and act as though you are still going out, even if the date is happening in the privacy of your own home. She has suggested some ideas such as virtual movie nights, happy hours, cooking classes, and the most obvious, the at-home and virtual dining date. This would entail both partners ordering food to each of their respective homes, but using the same menu as if they were dining in person.

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