Getting vaccinated each year is your single best defense to preventing the flu but there are also a number of good common sense tips that will help you stay healthy.
- Clean Your Hands Frequently.
It is scary to think of all the germs you pick up from menus, cash, remote controls, cell phones, pens and toilet handles, just to name a few. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth and if you aren’t able to wash with soap and warm (not hot) water, have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer close by. Carry a bottle of sanitizer in your purse or car with you.
When handwashing, use these steps: Wet hands and lather (rub backs of hands, between fingers and under nails). Sing the Happy Birthday song twice through while soaping. Rinse well and use a paper hand towel. After drying your hands, use the hand towel to turn off the water and open the door to exit the restroom.
- Stay Home When You Are Sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school or running errands if you are ill. This will help from spreading your illness to others. If you have a fever, you are contagious. You should avoid close contact with people who are sick to protect yourself. A fist bump or elbow bump during flu season is a good practice instead of a handshake or hug.
Cover Your Nose and Mouth.
The correct way to sneeze to limit droplets from becoming airborne is to sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth. Don’t be afraid to wear a paper mask over both when in public, particularly if you are ill or if your health is fragile.
Employ Other Good Health Habits.
Regularly disinfect surfaces in your home or at school such as doorknobs or light switches especially when a member of your household is ill. Change bedding frequently, discard used tissues, and wear plastic gloves when assisting a sick family member. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious meals. Get ample sleep, stay physically active and manage your stress.
Incorporating the suggestions above will give you a fighting chance to prevent getting the flu or a cold. Good luck and stay healthy!
This article is sponsored by Kingston Health Care
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