By: Martie Moore
Chief Nursing Officer, CURAD
Let’s face it, kids and germs just seem to go together. Part of the reason is children’s immature immune systems. One can only imagine what sort of bugs innocently hop on for a ride from the playground, classroom and back into our homes. During flu season, this can be especially worrisome. We often think that, “It’s only the flu,” but did you know that in 2014 more people died from the flu than from Ebola? 1, 2
There are 1 billion cases of the common cold or flu in the U.S. every year, usually sparked by a tiny dose of a virus that is inhaled from a sneeze or cough or transferred by touch.5 There are tons of “germy” places that we don’t always think about. If you come into contact with any of these high traffic areas throughout your day, be mindful of carrying around extra hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes. 3, 4
- Cell phones
- Dish towels
- Restaurant menus
- Table-topper placemats
- Diaper bags
- Kitchen faucet
- Vending machines
- Elevator buttons
- Movie Theaters
If you are a “must-sanitize mama” or an “environmental optimist,” here are a few quick ways to help all the members of your family become Flu Fighters this season:
- Be serious: Be smart about minimizing your exposure opportunities and any family member over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot.
- Healthy actions: Keep your hand away from your face. Keep hand sanitizer handy and use it often, on you and your kids. Use surface disinfect wipes at home. Wear the Curad Antiviral facemask when you might be in a high risk flu area, such as public transportation.
- Healthy behaviors: The goal of cold and flu season is to keep your immune system healthy so it can fight back when you come into contact with viruses or bacteria. Get enough sleep and eat right, avoid drinks/foods that are high in sugar and processed foods.
- Educate your family: Practice good hand-washing practices with your kids and remind them to keep their hands off their faces. Make hand-washing fun by singing songs as you scrub germs down the drain.
- Personalized your protection plan: Our daily lifestyles affect our personal risk for the cold and flu. Find out what your risk factors are and how to minimize them. Use this online quiz to find out if you’re a good host or if you’re a Flu Fighter: http://curad.com/fluquiz/
Martie Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ is CURAD’s chief nursing officer. In addition, she is a corporate advisory member for the American Nurses Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA). Medline, the parent company of CURAD, is the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies and clinical solutions.
- World Health Organization, Ebola data and statistics as of Dec. 31, 2014. http://apps.who.int/gho/data/view.ebola-sitrep.ebola-summary-20141231?lang=en