When influenza season hits and the rest of your family gets sick, then you need to take extra steps to keep yourself from falling ill as well, especially if you have young children to attend to. However, staying well is tricky when there is a highly contagious disease running through the household. Here are some tips on staying healthy during the flu season when everyone else is sick.
Get Your Flu Shot
If you are healthy, getting a flu shot will greatly reduce your chance of getting the disease. In fact, your entire family should get a flu shot if they are eligible. Your family physician can advise you on if and when you and your family members should get the shot.
Practice Good Hygiene
With any illness, practice good habits such as hand washing, especially after blowing your nose or sneezing. Make sure you wear clean clothing and use clean towels. Do not share towels or wash cloths when you have an ill family member. Throw out any toothbrushes used during the sick period.
Keep Surfaces Clean
Wipe down surfaces and other commonly touched items, such as toys, frequently. Some toys and utensils can be placed in the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning. Use gloves when handling items that a sick person has touched.
Stock Up on Comfort Supplies
You should always have extra medication, tissues, and hand sanitizer on hand before people get sick. Also, make sure you also keep thermometers and surface sanitizers on hand at all times to have them ready for when you need them. Keep supplies like bottled water and ice available to keep your ill family members hydrated and help reduce fevers.
Limit or Reduce Contact With Sick People
This might be hard to do if you are in a crowded household or you are caring for a sick child, but try to limit contact with a sick person. Try to limit visitors to a single caregiver to reduce the chance of exposure for other people in the household who are not sick. The flu virus spreads easily through the air, so sick family members should stay in one room, if possible.
Hopefully you can stay well and avoid the flu if you practice some of the above advice and your family gets better promptly. Most people recover from influenza with no complications. If you do fall ill, or your family is struggling with the flu and you feel you need family medical care, then contact your family physician who can help you.