Being a mother of four I have always been a bit concerned about germs and keeping my kids healthy, especially during cold and flu season. As I am sure we all are.Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a fanatic or anything… heck a bit of dirt never killed anyone, right? Well, that I know of, and waaaaay back when in ‘the good old days’ we just didn’t have all of the anti-bacterial products or even the concerns or attention on it that we have today.Because we are so much more aware today than years ago, it is important to do our best or protect ourselves from any harmful bacteria or virus that can, not only steal time away from us, but actually jeopardize our lively hoods and rack up so pretty hefty medical bills to boot! However, no matter how hard we try at home or when we out and about, there is just no way to always protect ourselves.I will confess… I did become a fanatic of sorts from May 2010 through September 2011 when I was taking care of my daughter, Kathryn, 24/7 while going through cancer treatments. With the immune system so low all of the time, it is very important not to come in contact with any virus or bacteria… So I admit it, I carried the disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray and the anti-bacterial hand gel everywhere! Everything had to be wiped down before she came in contact with it to lessen the chance of contacting “a bug,” which would have been very detrimental.This is what prompted me to sit down and write this. Kathryn’s twin sister, Michelle, recently had to go into the Emergency Room for dizziness and headache. While there she went into the back area to have the lab work done and when she was instructed to go back and sit in the waiting room for the results.When she and her father first arrived there were two people in the waiting area, one broke a finger and the other had chest pains. In the back, however, every room was filled and the nurse said that she was the only one in the past four hours that wasn’t here because of the flu. By the time she came back out after the lab work she counted about 10 people laying all over the place, coughing, sneezing, fever, vomiting with more coming in the door! She sat far enough away from them and called me.I told her to see if she could just get the hospital to call her with results since you didn’t have the flu and didn’t want to stick around to get it, if at all possible. She said they were calling people into the back and more would just sit down where that person got up… no one was given a mask, and no one was disinfecting anything! This means that when Michelle and her father sat in the waiting room when they first got there, all of the people in the back had been sitting on the same sofas and chairs! They had to sit somewhere, but we will never know if anything was disinfected or sanitized between patients… in the waiting room or in the lab room chairs and tables. Or do we?Well, two days later… Bing, Bang, BOOM! Full blown flu, for both of them!This got me thinking… how are you protecting your clients, staff and yourself from catching this “flu bug” that seems to be taking over America? Some areas are worse than others, but we all need to think about this. Billions of dollars and productivity are being spent and lost from lost wages and employee absenteeism for sick days.Of course, it is important to always keep your spa or salon clean. It is important to take steps in your spa or salon to continue to do business during flu and cold season by keeping your clients and staff healthy. By showing your clients that your spa or salon business has their best interest and health at heart, you will most definitely score major loyalty points! As well as going above and beyond when other businesses are not.Here are a few Safety Precautions during the cold and flu season for your Spa and Salon:1. If filling out a Client Questionnaire, be sure to either wipe off pens or this would be a great time to pass out new pens with your Spa or Salon Business information to all new clients or anyone that need to fill out any forms.2. Be sure to have Front Desk Staff disinfect front counter, phone, charge card machine, key board or any service they come in contact with.3. If you’re waiting area has furniture that can be wiped down periodically, do so.4. In between clients, make sure to wipe down salon chairs, especially the arm rests top and underside. As well as arm rests on shampoo bowl chairs.5. If you have magazines in the waiting area, print out a large sticker on the front that reminds people to be sure to wash their hands. In fact, this is where you can simply say, “Because we make your health and safety our priority, we recommend to wash your hands after enjoying reading this magazine either while waiting for your appointment or relaxing during your scheduled treatment.”6. Always use gloves to put dirty towels into washing machine and always wipe machine off so no clean towels or sheets will come in contact where the dirty laundry may have touched.7. Do not allow dirty laundry to sit over night.8. Keep disposable masks on hand for any employee or client that feels they need to use one.9. Spray down services with disinfectant spray every night prior to closing.10. Eat right, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated.What are you doing to protect your Spa and Salon staff and clients healthy during the cold and flu season?