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Oregon Family Magazine

Steer Clear of the Flu

12/30/2019 19:45 ● By Sandy Kauten
It's flu season!  Here at Oregon Family Magazine, we want you to be able to enjoy your holiday season without getting sick. Unfortunately, when one person in your family gets the flu, then the chances of other family members getting the flu go up. Fortunately, there are a few ways to fight the flu and keep your loved ones safe. The most foolproof protection against the flu is getting the flu shot. However, there are other strategies that can be implemented into your home that are quite effective! The right way to sneeze and cough: Always cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow when you sneeze or cough, and be sure to wash your hands afterwards. No matter your age, this is an important action to practice and remind others about. Disinfectants: One way in which to prevent germs from spreading in your home is the use of disinfectants! And while it is not practical to disinfect every surface in your home, it is important to make sure that frequently touched surfaces stay germ free. Places such as the handles of kitchen appliances, door knobs, faucet handles, light switches, toilets, remote controls, and electronic devices can be hot spots for germs, and therefore should be your focus when disinfecting.
  1. Wash your hands: While disinfectants do the heavy lifting in keeping your home free of the flu, you should never underestimate the power of washing your hands. A good practice is to wash your hands after touching any of the frequently touched surfaces listed above, and before touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth in particular), or eating food. To make the most of your hand-washing, use warm water and soap, and be sure to scrub your hands and beneath your fingernails for 20 seconds before rinsing and drying.
Quarantine: If someone in your home is sick, it can be helpful to create a sick room for them. This room should have everything they need in it, so that they do not have a reason to be in other areas of the home. This helps keep harmful germs contained, and better protects other family members from the flu. It is best for just one person to take care of the sick family member, so that the exposure is minimal and the virus is contained.

Practice healthy habits: Ultimately, a body that is healthy is more equipped to fight off the flu. Making sure that you and your family members get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthy foods, and are physically active will help to keep the flu at bay.

Written By Kyra Hanson, University of Oregon’s class of 2020