With the shift from summer to fall comes the start of the dreaded cold and flu season. This is also when you see a jump in the amount of people at urgent care San Diego locations. Because no-one wants to sit around in a waiting room, surrounding by others who are suffering from colds and flus, there are some tips you can use that will help you prepare for this year’s cold and flu season.
It Affects All People of All Ages
The first thing to understand about cold and flu season is that it affects anyone, no matter what your age is, although the very young and the elderly are always at greater risk of developing complications from a cold or flu virus. For these two groups, it is even more important to take steps to prepare and hopefully limit their risk.
Handwashing is Your Best Weapon
When it comes to cold and flu viruses, there is no doubt that your very best weapon is frequent and proper handwashing. Make sure your washrooms are well stocked with anti-bacterial soap. What many people don’t realize is that “proper hand-washing” means washing your hands in a lather of soap for at least 20-seconds. You want to wash between your fingers, under any jewelry you may have, and under your nails where germs like to gather. If you have a young child now is the time to go over the proper handwashing technique with him or her.
Keep Surfaces Clean
This is also the time you want to start thinking about hard surfaces in your home/office that are frequently touched. This includes things like light switches, door handles, cupboard handles, appliance doors (fridge, stove, and dishwasher), counters, and desks. Be sure to use an antibacterial cleaner on them on a regular basis. Before purchasing the cleaner, read the label to see if it is meant for killing the germs that cause colds and flus.
Prepare Your Medicine Cabinet
This is also a great time to take stock of your medicine cabinet and figure out what you’re missing. You’ll want to have some common items like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, a decongestant, and cough drops on hand. Once you are sick the last thing you will feel like doing is heading to the pharmacy to pick up all of these items. Being prepared will save you that trip.
Another important way you can help to prepare your body for cold and flu season is to be sure you and your children are up to date with vaccinations. The flu vaccination is a great option that you can discuss with your primary health care professional. This vaccination is especially helpful for the young and the elderly. While it may not stop you from getting the flu, it often limits the amount of time you are sick and can help to prevent dangerous complications from developing.
Cold and flu season is never a fun time, and it seems once one person in the house gets sick everyone else soon follows. That’s exactly why taking a few simple steps to prepare is recommended.