The kinds of illnesses you could get from germs on a phone are the types you get from touching surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose and mouth: colds, flu, and gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses. Particles could be on your phone or keypad, and then you touch your mouth. A lot of people let children play with their phones—so kids can pick up germs this way too.
To avoid catching a bug from your closest companion—aka, your cell phone—pay attention to the tips below.
Quick tips to prevent getting sick from your phone
- Wash your hands, and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Keeping your hands clean is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Clean your hands after touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, after using the restroom, before and after eating or drinking, or whenever your hands are dirty.
- Do not take your phone into the bathroom.
Certain bathroom particles can land on your phone.
- Wipe your phone with an alcohol-based wipe periodically.
It is important to disinfect your phone every so often. Germs from your hands can be transferred to your face via your phone. Check with your phone’s manufacturer on products that are safe for your device.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Coughing or sneezing can spread these germs through microscopic droplets in the air. Cover your mouth with your arm, sleeve, or crook of the elbow, rather than your hands.
- Do not place your phone on germy surfaces (e.g. bus seat, bathroom floor).
Germs from these locations can get on your phone. Remember, your phone touches your face!
Be mindful of where you store your bag when you get home.
Purses, backpacks, and shopping bags land on some pretty germy places—public bathroom floors, shopping carts, and other less-than-desirable resting spots. So why does this matter so much? Because you also leave them all over your home.
Do not place purses or diaper bags on the kitchen table, on the kitchen counter, or anywhere else food is consumed in your home. If you place purses and diaper bags on surfaces in your home that are meant for eating, you could be spreading disease-causing germs.