It’s that time of year again where the flu, stomach bugs, allergies, germs and other illness are kicking it into high gear. However, we want to help you prevent sickness before it happens! Use our handy checklist below for better health this season.
Infection Prevention Checklist
#1 – Clean your hands.
- Clean your hands frequently using soap & water or alcohol-based hand rub, including before eating and after blowing or wiping your nose.
- Wash your hands with soap and water anytime you have used the restroom, helped someone else use the restroom.
- Wash with soap and water ALL THE TIME if you are sick with diarrhea or vomiting. Do NOT use alcohol-based hand rub.
- Alcohol-based products do not kill many of the germs that cause GI illness.
#2 – Be aware of better ways to cough & sneeze.
Cough & sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands, and teach your kids to do the same.
#3 – Use bleach-based products.
If someone in your home is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, use a bleach-based product to clean bathrooms and high-touch surfaces all over your home, including:
- Faucet handles
- Toilet handles
- Door knobs
- Light switches
- Cell phones
- and other frequently-touched electronic devices
*Note: Clorox wipes and similar products do not contain bleach (even though they are Clorox brand). Instead, look for “bleach” or “sodium hypochlorite” on the label.
#4 – Get rest.
Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet to maximize your body’s ability to fight infections.
#5 – Stay at home!
STAY HOME IF YOU’RE SICK AND KEEP YOUR KIDS HOME IF THEY’RE SICK.
That means until there’s no fever for at least 24 hours WITHOUT Tylenol, Motrin, or other fever-reducing drugs and at least 24 hours after symptoms are gone if you’ve had diarrhea or vomiting
“Stay home” means no work, no school, no grocery store, no playground, no movies – stay away from other people!
#6 – Use antibiotics correctly.
Don’t demand antibiotics for viral illnesses, but if you are prescribed antibiotics, be sure you take them all. Inappropriate use of antibiotics creates drug-resistant bacteria that are dangerous.
#7 – Get your flu shot!
While there is still some debate over whether or not to get a flu shot, we advocate the importance of getting vaccinated for the flu.
About Jessica Dixon
Jessica Dixon is an Infection Prevention Specialist with WakeMed Health & Hospitals. She spends her working life trying to identify communicable diseases and keep visitors and staff well.