By Samantha Nicole Alarilla
Summer has ended and the rainy season has returned full force; the past few weeks have been cold, wet, and dreary. And along with this melancholic, cuddle-weather and productivity-dampening mood comes germs and bacteria that give us colds and flus. We’re sure the past few weeks have also been riddled with sniffles, sneezes, and coughs everywhere – be it at school, work, or home.
The cumbersome thing about colds is that when someone has it, everyone else is bound to have it too. Prevent the sickness from spreading by following these eight practical tips, and we’re sure your family will survive the rainy season flu-free:
Wash your hands.
Disinfect your hands with the proper hand washing technique – especially after coughing or blowing your nose. The World Health Organization prescribes this technique:
- Wet hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
- Rub hands palm to palm
- Rub back of each hand with palm of other hand with fingers interlaced
- Rub palm to palm with fingers interlaced
- Rub with back of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked
- Rub each thumb clasped in opposite hand using a rotational movement
- Rub tips of fingers in opposite palm in a circular motion
- Rub each wrist with opposite hand
- Rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly with a single use towel
Following this hand washing technique is sure to kill all germs and bacteria and prevent their spreading.
Sanitize your home.
Because flu germs can live for two to eight hours on hard surfaces, and not everyone will remember to keep their hands clean and away from their face, it is very important to disinfect regularly. Hot spots to look out for would be kitchen sponges, dishcloths, cutting boards, home desks, floors, sinks, and toilets. Regularly clean these hot spots and take special care when cleaning or washing the infected person’s things. It would be good if you washed his or her dishes, utensils, clothes, and linens separate from everyone else’s.
Limit contact with sick family members.
It sounds tough but temporarily staying away from your sick loved one is the best thing to do if you don’t want the flu to spread. Keep the sick person at home and limit close contact – such as hugging, kissing, or touching – between him or her and the other family members while they’re contagious. Avoid sharing items like washcloths, towels, dishes, toys, and utensils as well.
Update your vaccines.
Getting your shots is crucial to the prevention of the flu. If you don’t recall getting the standard flu vaccine recently, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Beware of mild flu-like symptoms after receiving the vaccine, such as fevers, headaches, and chills, though usually they go away within one to two days. Remember to inform your doctor beforehand of severe allergic reactions to eggs or mercury, or to other vaccines in the past.
And keep them away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
The most common way of infecting yourself is when you unknowingly touch something a sick family member has touched and bring it to your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep your hands away from your face and constantly remind everyone else in the household to do so as well.
Take proper medication.
As nice as applying a cool salve on your chest and forehead and diffusing calming essential oils is, pairing these home remedies with the proper medication is the surest way to get better in no time. Consult your doctor as to what medication you should be taking and remember to take it regularly and in proper doses.
Use those tissues!
Achoo! Bless you! But also, grab a tissue! Flu germs spread through droplets from the mouth and nose, and not covering them when you sneeze and cough can easily spread them around the home. Make sure to dispose of these tissues right away and wash your hands immediately after.
A healthy lifestyle is powerful enough to fight off sickness and prevent colds and flus from infecting you in the first place. Keep your immune system strong and healthy by getting plenty of sleep, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and managing stress.