Cold & Flu season is upon us. Across the country, hospitals and doctors’ offices are reporting widespread cases of the flu. Emergency rooms are bogged down and hospitalizations have increased because of flu-related symptoms. We’ve all been told that we need to get the flu shot every year, and if you haven’t gotten your shot yet you might still want to, considering this year is shaping up to be a particularly nasty year for the flu.
Thousands of children younger than 5 are hospitalized with flu complications every year, the CDC estimates that since 2010 6,000-26,000 children younger than 5 were hospitalized for flu-related complications. So what can you do to keep your home, classroom or daycare facility as flu free as possible?
Get Vaccinated: Obviously, the best way to help stop the spread of the flu virus is to not get it at all & getting vaccinated can help in that effort. According to the CDC getting vaccinated is the single best way to avoid getting the flu. The flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months and older.
Stay Home: We know it’s inconvenient to not go to work or school when you get sick. But if you have the flu (or even a cold) it is best for everyone if you stay home. Staying home allows you to rest and recuperate faster and keeps your co-workers/classmates from getting sick. Trust us they will thank you for not getting them sick.
Wash Your Hands: This one is easy and something we all know we need to do. Washing your hands often with soap and warm water will stop the spread of germs.
Avoid Touching Your Face: Germs can spread from your hands to your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Clean & Disinfect Correctly: Studies have shown that the flu virus can live on a surface for up to 48 hours. Washing surfaces with simple household cleaners should do the trick in removing the flu virus from surfaces. Use disinfecting wipes on electronics that are used frequently such as phones, tablets, & computers. Always follow directions on cleaning products and disinfectant wipes.
Handle Waste Properly: Follow standard procedures for handling waste. Throw out disposable disinfectant wipes immediately after use. Use touchless waste baskets whenever possible, avoid touching anything when emptying wastebaskets, and always wash your hands after emptying wastebaskets.
Together we can all help keep our classrooms, homes and offices flu free with a little extra hand washing and disinfecting!