[Updated on 4/10/2020] It’s that time of year again, and I know that everyone is excited for the cooler weather and the snow that comes with it. However, the colder weather often comes with germs, causing a lot of us to catch the common cold, a stomach bug, or even the flu.
Looking to help stop the spread of germs and sickness? Then you might want to take these tips into consideration.
1. Stay up to date on vaccinations.
Both you and your family should be up to date on vaccinations to prevent the spread of serious diseases like the flu. As the weather gets colder and our homes get warmer, viruses begin to thrive and spread indoors. Many pharmacies and shopping centers are offering flu shots this time of year for a discounted price. In fact, you can find the nearest vaccine clinic through this interactive map. Protect yourself and stop the spread of disease, and be sure to get vaccinated.
2. Attend yearly doctor visits.
You also need to make sure you and your family attend annual physician check-ups. Not only will this ensure your family is healthy, but it could prevent any major sickness from spreading.
Additionally, if you’re feeling under the weather and are unable to see your primary doctor, many walk-in clinics are open late and accept patients without an appointment. This can be a faster, more convenient way to get the care you need.
3. Practice good hygiene.
While this may be obvious, it’s important to remember that the best defense against catching or spreading any disease or virus is through practicing good hygiene.
First off, it’s imperative that you and your family wash your hands in warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds and to remember to do so in all of these situations:
- Before and after preparing food or touching raw meat
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- After using the restroom
- After touching garbage or dirty diapers
- After sneezing or coughing
- After touching an animal, and its food or waste
- Before eating food
- When you come home from a public place (gym, work, school, etc.)
Additionally, if soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer will still do the trick. Consider buying travel-sized bottles for your family to use when they’re away from home, this way they can prevent the spread of germs from coming into your house.
Don’t forget to remind the younger children to avoid sticking their hands in their mouths or eyes, especially at school. Children often don’t realize this is a major way that germs enter the body.
You should also be careful about touching the door handles in any public spaces, such as a restroom. These areas may get cleaned, but often door handles harbor a multitude of germs. So, consider carrying a handkerchief or travel tissues with you and use them to touch door handles.
A trick that we like to remember when using a public bathroom is to always save the paper towel you used to dry your hands to also open the door to the restroom. Many places often keep a trash bin right near the door for this exact reason!
4. Disinfecting the indoors.
You probably already take weekly measures to keep your home and workspace neat and tidy. However, in the fall and winter seasons, it’s a good idea to take a few extra cleaning measures.
First, make sure to clean bedding such as sheets, blankets, and pillows every 1-2 weeks in hot water. The hot water will kill any germs, dust mites, and other types of viruses brought indoors.
Additionally, be sure to wipe down table tops, doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, remote controls, keyboards, and other tech devices down with disinfecting wipes. These are easy ways that germs and viruses spread from person to person because they’re commonly touched and left uncleaned.
Consider bringing disinfectant wipes into your workspace, too. If you work at a desk all day, your computer, phone, and keyboard could be infected with germs and other bacteria. It’s so important to practice cleaning habits this time of year and wipe down surfaces you frequently touch.
Your vehicle can also harbor a lot of diseases too. You may not think about it much, but your steering wheel is most likely touched every day and may not always be touched by your hands. So, don’t forget to disinfect that as well as any other frequently touched components within your vehicle.
5. Stay home.
The last and final way to prevent the spread of illness, is to stay home and rest if you are sick. Don’t go to work or run errands if you have the common cold or flu symptoms.
Your body needs to rest and fight off whatever you caught, so be sure to get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated. Eat light foods like toast, rice, and crackers, and get plenty of Vitamin C to help your immune system.
The same especially applies to school-age children. Sickness spreads very quickly in schools and can get to other families unknowingly. Don’t send them to school when they aren’t feeling well and if absences accrue, make arrangements with your child’s teacher to get notes and other homework.
The more frequently these habits are practiced, the less likely you are to get sick. Of course, there’s never a guarantee you’ll be illness-free this year, but taking precautions like these are the best way to prevent disease.
Our insurance agency is wishing you and your family a happy and healthy season!