This year has been especially bad for the flu and other upper respiratory illnesses. Here are some great tips on how to prevent the spread of these illness.

Stay Home If You’re Sick
We want to teach our kids the importance of working hard, but it’s just good sense to stay home from work or school when you’re sick, to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs.

Keep Your Hands Clean
You never know what germs you might be picking up in the course of the day. It’s a good idea to wash your hands frequently, especially before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the bathroom. Use warm water and soap, and make sure you lather up for 20 seconds!

Cover Your Nose and Mouth When Coughing or Sneezing
Avoid spreading cold and flu germs to others by coughing or sneezing into a tissue. If none is available, don’t cough or sneeze into your hands! Instead, turn your head away from nearby people and, if necessary, aim for your shoulder.

Don’t Touch Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth
Germs that might otherwise languish on your hands can easily infiltrate your system when you rub your face. Try to keep your hands away from your face as much as you reasonably can.

Get Plenty of Rest
Your body works overtime to hunt and destroy harmful germs when you’re resting or relaxed, but high stress levels leave you susceptible to invasion. Get some rest and give your white blood cells the time they need to do their job.

Avoid Unnecessary Close Contact
It’s an unfortunate fact that a person can spread flu germs a full day before exhibiting symptoms, and then up to five days after that. Steer clear of those with flu-like symptoms – they’ll understand. And if you’re sick, avoid close contact with others.

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating right is always important, but particularly during cold and flu season. The vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables can buttress your body’s immune system against invaders.

Get Fresh Air and Exercise
It’s a myth that low temperatures cause cold and flu. In fact, the culprit is increased, prolonged contact with greater numbers of people. Going outside for a walk means you’ll get exercise and get away from potential germ-bearers.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was used in compiling this checklist.
Although it is a great time to get together with family and friends, it is also a great time to share cold and flu germs. To make this a healthier holiday season, follow these tips to prevent germs:

  • Frequently disinfect surfaces in your home and office-especially things like phones and doorknobs that many people touch.
  • Wash your hands often. There is more to hand washing than you think! By rubbing your hands vigorously with soapy water, you pull the dirt and the oily soils free from your skin. The soap lather suspends both the dirt and germs trapped inside and are then quickly washed away. (www.dhs.wisconsin.gov )
  • Keep your fingers away from your eyes and nose to help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold, especially during the first few days their symptoms appear. This is when they are more likely to spread their germs