When flu season strikes and little Jimmy is coughing and spluttering over the playground, you can be forgiven for wanting to hide your family under a bubble. Luckily, there are easier ways to help you and your family navigate flu season – vaccination being one of them.
- There’s a reason behind the long-standing habit of washing your hands with soap and water. It kills germs. Washing your hands should be at least a 20-second journey, not a five-second rush. Slow and steady wins the race.1
- Teach your children to cover their mouths when they sneeze.2 A sneeze can spread germs to your kids’ friends and teachers, causing them to get sick too!
- Teach your children to sneeze and cough into tissues to help stop germs from spreading on their hands.2Then be sure to throw the used tissue into the waste basket.
- Going outside with wet hair does not cause the flu. Even if you’re in Antarctica. Flu is caught by contact with the influenza virus.3
- Flu germs can live up to 48 hours on hard surfaces. Always wipe down benches, sinks and tables to keep your home and work environment germ free.4
- Be alert during flu season. You can be contagious one day before flu symptoms kick in and up to five days after becoming ill.3 Postpone play dates with sick kids. Your family will thank you.
- Discuss flu immunization with your family doctor. Healthy persons over the age of six months can be vaccinated.5 It takes just one conversation and it could reduce the risk of having an unwell and unhappy child.
- The Government of Canada. It’s Your Health. The Benefits of Handwashing. (2014) https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/diseases/benefits-hand-washing.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water, Sanitation & Environmentally-related Hygiene. Hygiene Etiquette & Practice. Coughing & Sneezing. (2009)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seasonal Influenza (Flu). Key Facts About Influenza (Flu). (2017) https://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immigrant and Refugee Resources. Cleaning to Prevent Flu. (2018) https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/pdf/seasonal-flu/contamination_cleaning_english_508.pdf
- Government of Canada. Flu (Influenza). Prevention of Flu (Influenza). (2015) https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/prevention-flu-influenza.html