Cold and flu season is here. That means children, parents, teachers, and caregivers, as well as others who live and work in the public will be exposed cold and flu germs. Everyone who lives in the public, which is every one of us – children and adults need to know how to keep germs at bay to stay healthy all season long!
Wash Those Hands!
Children and adults come in contact with a number of others who are contagious, carrying germs which spread quickly and easily, especially in the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. Of course, this means you need to wash your hands, a lot, all the time, over and over again. Children should be encouraged and adults reminded to wash their hands as much as possible and wash again – especially after being in well-traveled public places, like school, work, gyms, stores, and restaurants.
It is a simple task, but washing with soap and water thoroughly for 20 seconds, scrubbing top and bottom, between fingers, and under fingernails will remove all the germs you’ve come in contact with.
Cleanse with Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer
If soap and water are out of the question, then hand sanitizer is the next best thing. Simple to use and available in small, handy dispensers, hand sanitizer will stop cold and flu germs and help you stay healthy.
Keeping your home, office, and classrooms clean goes a long way in preventing this season’s colds and flu. Sanitizing door knobs, light switches, shared computers, and telephones, essentially any shared spaces will help to keep you safe from cold and flu germs. Shared workspaces in schools, offices, and gyms need to be sanitized with germ killing soaps and cleaners, disinfecting wipes or sprays. Think about it, it only takes a single invisible germ to infect you, and those tiny invisible germs can lurk anywhere. A surface may look clean, though you know 30 tiny hands have been wiping noses, sneezing, coughing, and more, it’s probably a good idea to sanitize surfaces before the next class session begins. In addition, keep in mind that your clothes have also been exposed to germs and should be cleaned quickly as well – it could help keep you healthy!
Get a Flu Shot
Doctors and researchers agree – getting a flu shot will help prevent the flu.
Limit Your Time with Those Infected
If you know someone is infected with a cold or the flu, limit your exposure to them as much as possible. This may be difficult if the infected person is a member of your family, but as you care for them, following the guidelines mentioned can help. Of course, during cold and flu season, it is also a good idea to avoid shaking hands – just offer an explanation of your reason and nearly everyone will understand.
Eat Well, Exercise, and Rest
Comfort foods are often the food of choice during fall and winter, but to prevent colds and flu, you should opt instead for nutrient rich foods packed with the vitamins and minerals you need to stay your healthiest. Along with eating well, exercising regularly keeps your body strong and helps you fight germs. Rest is also important, though often underestimated.
Water is good for your body. On top of that, water consumption can help prevent colds because it keeps you hydrated and regulates your normal body functions. You should aim for six to eight glasses a day and more during exercise. Water also encourages immune responses to help fight germs and eliminate toxins that can contribute to infections and illnesses.