Preventing and Treating the Flu in Your Home
Preventing and Treating the Flu in Your Home:
The onset of the fall season brings with it, the onset of flu season. Some experts are predicting this flu season to be very rough this year. Many parents worry about how to protect their family from the virus and it all starts in the home. While avoiding the flu is not 100% guaranteed, there are steps you can take that assist in preventing it. Your home can be a safe haven from the flu virus if you take action towards preventing it. Below are some tips to get you started.
- Wash your hands. As soon as you enter your home, wash your hands with soap and water. The length of time you wash is important too. Sing “Row Your Boat” once while scrubbing along the palms, fingers and under the nails. Then rinse and you’re done. Be sure to dry your hands on a clean towel. Washing our hands prevents germs from spreading to surfaces or to ourselves.
- Disinfect surfaces. Take a few minutes to wipe down all surfaces in your home with a disinfectant spray geared towards targeting the flu virus. Don’t forget to wipe down your phones, computers and remote controls too. Be sure to wash all blankets, sheets and towels on a regular basis with high heat using a color-safe bleach.
- Avoid others who are sick. Often times, it is difficult for us to know who is infected. The flu virus can be contagious for one day before you start showing symptoms and up to 7 days after. Avoid close contact with people if you know they are sick. If you are the one who is sick, separate yourself from others. Sleep in a different room from your partner and avoid washing dishes and cooking meals, if you can.
- Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Making sure that you are practicing self-care may help your chances of fighting off the flu virus. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, between 7-9 hours. Eating dark leafy greens has been shown to assist in strengthening the immune system. Take time to de-stress and relax. Even 30 minutes a day of calm slow breathing can help you to decompress and feel better. Drinking hot teas can also help soothe not only a sore throat but can help to aid in the reduction of stress. Make sure you’re drinking caffeine-free tea so you’ll be able to fall asleep at night.
- What to do if you get sick. Sometimes, you can do everything needed to prevent the flu and you or a member of your family still catches it. If this happens, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t spread it to the other members of your household. Be sure to drink plenty of water. If you have been running a fever or vomiting, drinking water will assist in replenishing lost fluids. Dispose of tissues as soon as possible. Leaving used tissues out can spread the virus to other parts of the home. Coughing or sneezing into your hand can spread germs rapidly. Cough and sneeze into your elbow to prevent this from happening.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or you would like more information on treating and preventing the flu, please visit one of 136 nationwide urgent care locations.