Dodging Sneeze Season
By: Kelsie Sandage
Fall indicates cold season is about to rear its germy head again. Everyday social interactions make keeping a clear bill of health more difficult because of how many people that we come into contact with and the germs they may have left behind. There are some simple steps that everyone can take to dodge the cold season.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water after using the restroom, before and after making food, after touching something dirty and after you cough or sneeze can prevent you from getting someone else’s germs and from not spreading your own germs. Hand sanitizer is good in situations where there is no access to soap and water, but over time the alcohol in hand sanitizer can break down the cells on hands and can actually let in more germs then it destroys.
- Get vaccinated. With the intense flu seasons we have had past couple years, it is a smart idea to get your flu shot. If you are in a job that brings you into contact with many people and many germs, then it is especially helpful if you get the flu shot so you do not contract to cold from anyone else.
- Be courteous. Sneeze, cough or blow your nose away from others whenever possible. If not possible to move away from people, then direct outburst downward into your lap, into the crook of your elbow or towards your shoulder. Anywhere so the germs are not hitting someone directly in the face. In a tissue is the ideal, but when that is not possible there are other choices than spreading your germs.
- But be cautious as well. Be careful around people who are coughing or sneezing. This does not mean avoiding them completely, but refusing to shake someone’s hand that just sneezed or coughed into their hand and did not wash is not rude, but smart to avoid catching their cold. Carrying a travel size pack of tissues is courteous because they can be shared with those that need a tissue and helps contain your personal germs as well.
- Avoid touching your face. Hands are the biggest transmitters of germs. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, mouth and ears helps prevent germs from making a way into your body to begin with.
- Eat better. Eating a more balanced diet and cutting out more fatty foods with preservatives can help boost your immune system so that germs cannot attack and make you sick. Vegetables, Vitamin C and Calcium can make your body strong from the inside out. Eating three well-balanced meals promotes a healthy immune system.
- Get more sleep. Getting enough sleep keeps your immune system healthy so germs cannot infiltrate your body and make you sick. Getting enough sleep will help boost your energy as well so you will feel good.
- It’s okay to be sick. If you do get sick, it is okay. Stay home if possible and get better so you are not getting anyone else sick. Staying home can also decrease the length of the sickness because you are taking care of yourself instead of trying to continue to work at a lessened state of mind.