Now that the holiday season is upon, the gathering of family and friends also brings the chance to spread germs and pass around a cold one can't seem to shake. It seems in our house that the past few years, we have all gotten sick right after Thanksgiving, and had the cold linger into mid December. But, this year, I have stocked up on extra Lysol, have been cleaning the house from top to bottom, and plan to have guests make a point to wash their hands before and after meals. Not only am I looking out for my family, but I know how lousy it is to be sick around the holidays, and have to stay home and not enjoy community events and local festivities due to a cold or the sniffles. And, with little ones, while they know to cough into their sleeve, blowing their nose is still a work in progress. So, we are always ready with tissues, wet wipes and saline solution to help with runny noses or congestion.
Even with all the preparing and trying to keep germs at bay, this will always be a chance for the spread the germs when you get a lot of people together, especially around the holidays. But, to cut down on the spread of germs, why not try the following ways to help minimize the spread of germs, especially with Thanksgiving next Thursday:
Elizabeth Pantley (shown in the infographic above), a parenting educator, is also president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family and resource and education company shared a great e-book on Facebook, "Don't Wait Vaccinate: A Parent's Guide to the Flu Vaccine," in which shares more about the flu, how it differs from a cold, and the need to minimize your risk of germ spread. As a health educator, I was very impressed with this e-book, and how Elizabeth talked on all the major points. Also included in the e-book was "True and False" portions, with most of the statements a surprise to readers. Like did you know:
- Kids in America missed 38 million days of school in one year because of the flu
- You need not lather and scrub your hands for 20 seconds to remove germs.
- There is a big difference between cleaning and disinfecting
- Flu season can run from October to May
- Flue germs can live on surfaces for up to eight hours
And, if your work is offering a flu-clinic with their open enrollment, or you are lucky enough to live near a walk-in clinic or pharmacy offering the flu shot, why not consider getting it this year. While some say they get sick after the short, or experience flu-like symptoms, the flu shot is another step you can take to minimize your chances of getting the flu this winter. Which would you rather have, a sore arm and sniffles for a few days...or body aches, chills, fever, nausea, and just feeling lousy (all symptoms of the flu)? I make sure to get the flu shot, along with my husband and girls, as a cold is easier to handle, than having to tend to you toddlers with a flu, and hoping you don't get sick from being run down.
So, as you plan gatherings with family and friends this holiday season, practice the ABC's of Flu Prevention, to help reduce the your family's risk of getting the flu this winter. The holidays are for spending time with family and friends...not spending time at the doctor's office, or in bed sick.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune Specialty Care. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.