Every year, flu season has the potential to turn your household upside-down. Doing everything possible to avoid the flu and finding ways to prevent the spread if it occurs will minimize the chances of an entire household becoming sick.

Realize The Importance Of Vaccination

Having a yearly flu vaccine remains the most important step you can take to prevent the flu. Many misconceptions surrounding vaccination continue to be the reason people avoid preventative strategies. You cannot develop the flu as a direct result of the vaccination. The flu shot contains a dead virus, whereas the nasal spray contains a live, but weakened, virus. It is possible to have some mild effects from the nasal spray, which cannot compare to having the flu. If you have any chronic conditions, especially those requiring medications to suppress the immune system, speak with your doctor about the risks associated with being vaccinated. Generally, you may be limited to the shot. Certain medical conditions, advanced age, and pregnancy can make you especially vulnerable to potentially life-threatening effects from the flu, making vaccination of the utmost importance.

Practice Good Hygiene And Sanitation

Good hygiene is more than bathing and brushing your teeth. You should learn techniques to prevent the spread of the flu. Fortunately, these techniques can be used all year to minimize exposure to other viruses. Avoid touching your face throughout the day. Many people have a habit of rubbing their eyes or nose, which is an easy way to transfer germs from your hand to the mucous membranes. Carry tissues with you for sneezing and coughing. Unfortunately, airborne viruses can be easily transmitted when people sneeze or cough without covering their nose and mouth. Having tissues readily available will help keep your germs to yourself. Hand washing remains a critical tool in reducing the spread of germs. The rubbing action while washing your hands also helps remove germs. Since there are plenty of times when you cannot wash your hands, or you wash your hands only to touch a door knob on the way out of the bathroom, a pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer works well for added security.

Use Gloves And Masks

Although using gloves and masks inside your home may sound like overkill, it can be important in households where one person is sick. This can be especially troublesome for parents who cannot miss work, but still need to care for a sick child. Whenever possible, the person who is ill should attempt to confine themselves to one area of the home, such as the bedroom. This will reduce the chances they can pass on the virus to other people inside the home. You may want to purchase a small air filtration system that is capable of reducing ambient virus particles. Adults who are caring for a sick child should continue to remain vigilant after a child seems better. Children frequently seem to feel fine, even when they are still contagious. Ask your family doctor about signs to look for when the flu has passed, such as a normal temperature or their symptoms have improved for several consecutive days.

Reducing your chances of flu through vaccination and following basic flu-prevention strategies can help keep your household healthy each year. For more information, contact a care provider like those at Hampstead Medical Center PC today.