How to Stay Flu-Free for the Holidays12/01/11
THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The overlap of the cold and
flu season with the holiday season can make it a challenge to stay
healthy as you go to parties and get together with family and
Getting a flu shot is important, but other precautions can also
reduce your risk of getting sick or of spreading illness to others,
according to a Ryerson University news release.
Here are some tips for a healthy holiday:
- When you have to cough or sneeze, do it in your sleeve or the
inside of your sweater or jacket. That will prevent the spread of
viruses to those nearby.
- Wash your hands regularly and always after using the restroom,
before eating, and after blowing your nose.
- Use the air kiss or fake peck on the cheek instead of a kiss on
the lips when greeting family and friends.
- Always use serving spoons or forks -- never your fingers -- to
put food on your plate. If you're hosting a party, be sure to
supply plenty of serving utensils and provide people with
alternatives to reaching into bowls, such as making individual
- Find creative ways to personalize cups so that people don't
accidentally mix them up. Don't serve beverages in their original
containers because people might get confused about which bottle or
can belongs to them.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it before you eat any
food or touch your face, particularly your nose and mouth. This
will help protect you against viruses you may have picked up from
doorknobs, shopping cart handles, handrails and faucets.
- When you attend religious services, try to stay three to six
feet away from others and don't share the communion wine goblet.
Instead of shaking hands and hugging, use a friendly wave or elbow
tap to greet others.
- Make sure you get adequate sleep, which is important for
keeping your immune system strong.
- If you develop a cold or flu, stay at home until you feel
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
preventing the flu.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.