Use these simple flu prevention tips to keep your family safe and healthy this Winter season. Every year, it seems like the flu gets an earlier start and spreads further, faster. There are also new strains of the flu every year.
What can you do to keep the flu from making it’s way into your home?
It’s all pretty scary, especially when we see how easily kids can pass a simple cold around. Today’s flu strains just boggle my mind. There are some very easy, very basic things we can all do to keep our loved ones – and ourselves – from catching the flu or a cold or if we do catch it–to keep from spreading it.
I’ve put together some cold & flu prevention tips to help us stay healthy and happy this Winter. The best thing about these simple flu prevention tips is that they apply anywhere, anytime. Use these simple flu prevention tips every year!
If there was an easy way that you could keep yourself and your family from coming down with a potentially life threatening flu, wouldn’t you want to do it? Well, you can!
Cold Symptoms Vs Flu Symptoms
Cold symptoms vs flu symptoms can seem very similar, especially if you’re already sick. I’ve had several bouts of actual flu in my life and I can completely understand how different cold symptoms are from flu symptoms.
Flu Symptoms Include:
- Nausea, usually with vomiting
- Fever, occasionally high
- Chills, body aches and pains
- Runny nose and/or stuffy nose
- Cough, usually with sore throat
With a common cold, people normally don’t get a high fever or the chills, body aches and pains. The worst part of a common cold is the runny or stuffy nose. It’s also rare to suffer from nausea or vomiting with a cold. A sore throat may be common with a cold, but coughs are less common.
Mainly think of flu symptoms as much, much worse than a cold – like a cold on steroids! Luckily, doctors have tests for the flu so it’s much easier these days to tell them apart.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu?
Simple Flu Prevention Tips – Cover Your Coughs And Sneezes
The biggest way the flu is spread is from sneezing or coughing into the air. All those moisture droplets have the potential of getting someone sick as far away as six feet! Yuck!
Ewww ~ this makes me think of that TV commercial where someone sneezes in the elevator and it’s colored blue to show us all how much moisture droplets can spread. It drives home the image of covering our coughs and sneezes!
When you sneeze or cough, do it into a tissue or into your sleeve at the elbow. Just this one thing can keep from getting many others sick with the flu or a cold.
Those most at risk–the elderly and children–will be much less likely to catch the flu from you if you just practice this tip.
Be Prepared for the 2016-2017 Flu Season
Simple Flu Prevention Tips From The CDC
The CDC says that around 10-20 percent of Americans get the flu each flu season, which runs from November to March. In fact, the CDC has 3 simple flu prevention tips that can do the most to prevent the spread of influenza every year.
The CDC stresses getting your flu vaccine, taking basic flu prevention actions every day and if you do get sick, take medicines to lessen the impact of your illness.
Kids get the flu 2-3 times more often than adults and often spread the flu virus to others at school and at home. I don’t know about you, but there’s no more heartbreaking sight than a sick child who’s just miserable.
Even though most people do recover from having the flu, the CDC says that more than 100,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from the flu and its complications each year in the US alone.
Those most at risk of developing complications from the flu are the kids, the elderly and those who already have medical issues like diabetes.
Wouldn’t it be just so much easier to wash our hands?
Wash Your Hands by woodleywonderworks on Flickr, Commons 2.0
Simple Flu Prevention Tips – Wash Your Hands
Keeping our hands clean is the easiest, most important step we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It’s HUGE! This one step can not only prevent YOU from catching the flu, but it can also prevent you from spreading the flu too.
It’s best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. Sing the whole happy birthday song. Count to twenty. What kind of soap you use isn’t NEAR as important as using soap, washing your hands frequently and washing them thoroughly.
However, if soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.
If you use a gel sanitizer, rub the gel briskly in your hands until they’re dry. Sanitizer gels don’t need water to work; the alcohol in the gel kills germs that cause colds and the flu.
Remember, Even Simple Hand Washing Saves Lives!
Did you know that National Clean Hands Week is Sept 20 – 26?
Simple Flu Prevention Tips From Elmo
Simple Flu Prevention Tips – Get Your Flu Shot
The CDC says that the single best way to keep from catching the flu is to get vaccinated. Okay, I agree with that too, as well as washing your hands. The flu vaccine covers several strains of flu that are commonly out there each season and it’s definitely worth getting a shot to have protection from several strains of the flu!
It’s been tough getting ours the last couple of years because the pharmacy AND my doctor’s office is out of stock when we go. We’ll just have to get there earlier! Be sure to talk to your doctor about when to get your shots…and then do it. Don’t risk missing out because they ran out of vaccines.
It can take as long as 14 days for the vaccine to take effect and in the meantime, you could feel like you’re catching a cold or the flu (but many people don’t feel anything). My husband (a diabetic) and I never had any side effects or anything else. You do NOT get the flu from the vaccine. You may feel a little puny, like our kids do when they get their immunizations. I’ve had the flu three or four times in my lifetime and trust me, I prefer the effects of the vaccine to actually having the flu. I bet you’ll agree.
Stay well this Winter by following these simple flu prevention tips!
Influenza – Flu by Matteo Bagnoli on Flickr, Commons 2.0
Hopefully, these simple flu prevention tips will keep our families healthy and sniffle free this Winter. Have some tips to share with the rest of us? Add it to a comment below! Thanks for stopping by!