How not to catch and spread viruses is a hot topic each fall in Alberta, and with good reason. Colds viruses can produce fever, coughing, runny noses and sore ears. Influenza sufferers may face vomiting, respiratory problems, fever, chills, aches and sometimes convulsions in small children. It’s no wonder that everyone is in a panic in October – no one wants to get sick or spread the germs in their own house. There is no sure-fire way to avoid all viruses, but if you follow a few simple tips, you may be lucky enough to escape the cold and flu season virus-free.
- Wash Your Hands. Period. Washing your hands may be a no-brainer but when it comes to little ones make sure you’re teaching them to wash with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds (that’s about two repeats of the Happy Birthday song) each time. Hands should be washed before and after coming into contact with a potentially germ ridden object or surface, and whenever you return home from a public outing (school, work, grocery shopping).
- Schedule an Acupuncture Appointment. Regular acupuncture appointments can help to boost your immune system and prevent illness.
- Avoid Sick People. If your bestie is supposed to come over for girl’s night but she suddenly has the sniffles, reschedule. If your child’s bestie is supposed to come for a playdate but has a “sore tummy”, reschedule. The inconvenience is not worth days of suffering in bed.
- Stay Healthy. Try to stay well-rested, eat healthy food and exercise regularly to boost your immune system.
- Disinfect When Needed. Once a week (or twice if you have the time) walk through your house with a bottle of vinegar and water or chlorine bleach diluted with water and wipe down all light switches, railings, handles , doorknobs, keyboards, phones and remotes. You can give your children’s plastic toys a wash in the dishwasher too.
- Keep Your Hands Off of your Face. This may be easier for adults than kids; keeping their hands out of their eyes, ears and mouth will lower their chances of getting sick.
- Get the Flu Shot. If you are in the vulnerable population for flu, you face the highest risk of complications. If you are one of the following categories it is recommended:
- the elderly
- those with asthma
- pregnant women
- people with weakened immune systems
- caregivers for the groups above
If you do happen to get sick, remember to rest, drink fluids and take a sick day or keep your little ones at home. Your co-workers, school teachers, and other parents will thank you!