Prevent Flu Through Regular Hand Washing
The elevator button you just touched? It probably has flu germs on it. Germs can survive on any surface for at least two hours. If someone in the school or office has the flu, those germs can reside in anything – yes, anything they have touched: phones, desks, cafeteria tables, books, toys.
Here’s a simple secret to staying well throughout the flu season: hand washing. If you want to stay healthy throughout the flu season, wash your hands, and do it often!
Washing your hands often will keep you from getting sick and will stop the spread of disease-causing germs. All it takes is water and soap, a thorough scrubbing of your hands and wrists, topped off with a good rinse!
Frequent hand washing is the first line of defense against the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get yourself vaccinated.
Did you know that the flu virus can spread even before the symptoms appear? It happens most of the time – one family member catches the flu, then everyone else gets it. At Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER, we urge families to keep these tips in mind to keep your family healthy during the flu season.
The CDC recommends that all family members 6 months and older get a flu vaccination. Some may experience mild symptoms after receiving the shot, which includes:
- Soreness at the site of the injection
The symptoms typically go away after a day or two. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are severely allergic to mercury or eggs, or if you have had a bad reaction to any form of vaccine in the past.
It is always a good idea to schedule your family’s vaccination in October or November – before the start of the flu season. Go to your nearest Physicians Premier location to get your flu shot.
Proper hand washing
If you do not wash your hands properly, the remaining bacteria will grow in number! Be sure to use the correct technique for washing hands. When health experts advise you to wash your hands, they are not talking about a light drizzle of water. Use warm water and soap, and rub your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. The fingertips are one of the most frequently missed areas, however, they are the ones we most use for contact with other people and surfaces.
Here’s the drill:
- Wet your hands with warm water. Add soap.
- Scrub your hands together for 15 to 20 seconds. A good trick would be to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice!
- Don’t forget to rub between your fingers, the backs of your hands, and under your nails. Rubbing will help lift dirt, microbes, and grease from skin.
- Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water.
- Dry your hands with a clean paper towel.
If soap and water is not available, use a sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.
Washing your hands is especially important during certain times:
- Before eating food
- Before, during, and after food preparation
- After using the toilet
- Before and after caring for a sick person
- After changing diapers
- Before and after treating a wound or cut
- After touching an animal, animal waste, or animal feed
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- After touching garbage
- After handling pet treats or food
Other flu precautions include covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and practicing other good health habits. Be physically active, get adequate sleep, drink lots of water, manage your stress, and eat nutritious food.
Questions? Feel free to get in touch with us at Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER.