There’s no getting around it, cold and flu season is upon us. It seems like getting sick is inevitable in the winter months, but there are actually steps that you can take to help keep yourself and your family safe. Just follow these easy tips:
Wash Your Hands
Germs are often transferred onto your hands from all of the surfaces that you toucha ll day. The best to keep from spreading germs is to wash your hands frequently and encourage your family to do the same. Wash your hands using soap and warm water and be sure to wash for at least 20 seconds. Don’t touch your mouth, eyes, nose, or food if you haven’t; washed your hands in a while. Consider carrying a hand sanitizer for use when a sink isn’t readily available.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A strong immune system will help you fend off illnesses. One of the best ways to strengthen your immune system is to eat a healthy diet. You should be eating well all year round, but in the winter especially make sure that you and your family are eating a well-balanced diet with fruits and veggies. If you find yourself feeling sick, you might not feel like eating. However, if you can keep foods down, it’s important to get some nutrients into our body to help fight off the illness. Liquid food such as broth and soup is perfect for this situation. Be sure that you are also staying hydrated, as drinking water is just as important!
Keep Your Home Clean
You want to make sure that your home is free of germs. Wipe down surfaces that you touch often, such as light switches and doorknobs. Wash all of your clothing and linen regularly using hot water, especially if someone in your family is sick. Anytime you handle laundry, wash your hands after. Clean up spills immediately using a disinfecting wipe. Take care of other surfaces that are known to trap germs and bacteria, such as carpets and furniture. A professional carpet and upholstery cleaner can help you to remove germs better than a vacuum can.
Prevent Germs from Spreading
If someone in your family does get sick, it’s your responsibility to keep it from spreading form others. If you are sick, stay home! Try to quarantine sick family members. If a sick child shares a room with another child, consider separating them to prevent the spread of germs. If you’re caring for your sick children, be sure to wash your hands all day, eat well, and otherwise take care of yourself so you don’t get sick as well. Teach your children to sneeze and cough into a tissue, and to use the “vampire cough” when a tissue isn’t available. Hold your upper arm against your mouth and nose, covering them both, as though you’re holding a cape to cover your face, like a vampire from the movies. Coughing into your hands can lead to spread of germs.
See a Doctor
There are many reasons why people avoid seeing the doctor. However, a doctor can help you feel better faster and avoid serious medical complications. You should see a doctor if:
- You have a temperature of 100.4 or higher.
- Your symptoms last more than 10 days.
- Your symptoms are severe or unusual.
- You have a child younger than 3 months old who has a fever.
We hope that you and your family stay healthy this winter season!