The flu is one of the most contagious viruses around! You can catch it just by handling any item that someone with the flu touched before you. It can also be spread easily by inhaling air droplets that contain the flu virus. So, if someone near you coughs or sneezes, beware; it might be the flu! The flu virus is also known to change every year, so getting a flu vaccine is a great first step at preventing you and your family from catching the flu! However, the vaccine isn't 100 percent effective because the strain changes so often. When the vaccine doesn't work, here are a couple tips to help keep your family flu-free.
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Wash your hands! Any soap will do, not just antibacterial. Your hands come in contact with so many different substances every day and pass these substances onto doorknobs, remotes, keyboards and phones. It's best to wash your hands often to prevent these germs being passed onto your family members. When you are washing your hands, teach your kids to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" once to make sure they washed long enough and killed all the germs.
Keep your hands off yourself. Throughout the day, you're constantly touching your face, which is not necessarily a bad thing unless your hands are unwashed. Then you might have passed germs to your face, which is how cold and flu germs spread. They can get in through your eyes, mouth or nose and start making you sick.
Disinfect! This doesn't just apply to your hands. Disinfect your counter, tabletops, cabinets, remotes, keyboards and any other surfaces that your family constantly touches. Be sure to wash your forks, spoons and other utensils to stop the spread of germs between family members. Germs can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours!
Do the vampire cough, otherwise known as coughing into your elbow. It's a great way of preventing your germs from getting into the air and spreading. You can also cough into a sleeve, but never cough into your hands. Encourage the rest of your family to do the same!
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Keep your distance. If someone is sick, be sure to keep away from them. The same thing goes for you if you're sick: stay away from others! Once the fever has been gone for 24 to 48 hours, you're safe. This is also a great tip when it comes to get togethers and holiday parties. It's easy to spread germs at social gatherings because everyone is greeting each other and being friendly. This might be a good excuse to get out of hugging that one aunt that's just a little too affectionate.
Source: Everyday Health