Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

by Dennis Kim

It’s that time of year when we’re deep into winter and the risk of getting the flu or cold is more common. That’s why taking the necessary precautions and having a healthy lifestyle is key to avoiding getting sick. Keeping your immune system up is one of the best things you can do.

Following these simple tips can help tremendously:

• Get plenty of sleep (Aim for 7-8 hours)

• Eat a healthy diet (leafy greens, vegetables and fruit). Probiotics, found in fermented foods including yogurt and sauerkraut, also help boost the immune system

• Drink lots of fluids - specifically water

• Exercise daily

• Manage your stress and give yourself time to do the things you love

• On top of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, there are a few more things you can do to stay healthy during cold and flu season. To start, you should:

1) Wash your hands

The best thing anyone can do no matter what time of year it is, is to wash their hands. It seems like a simple suggestion, but hand-washing is one of the best preventative measures against colds. Most people don’t realize how many surfaces they touch and immediately touch their faces right after. When washing your hands, make sure to:

• Use hot water and soap

• Lather up the soap and get under your fingernails, in between your fingers and wrists

2) Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze

The fastest way to spread the flu is with droplets that come out of your nose and mouth. Avoid sneezing into your hands and use the crook of your elbow or shoulder. It’s better that droplets end up on your clothing as opposed to your hands. If you’re by a sink, wash your hands immediately afterwards.

3) Stay home

If you are feeling sick and have cold-like symptoms, stay home. Going into work or public, in general, doesn’t do anyone any favours and can even make your sickness worse.

4) Avoid touching your face

Try to keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes. When you’re sick and touch these parts of your body, they act as direct routes to your bloodstream and allow the virus to spread even faster.

5) Stay away from sick people

If you know someone is sick, do your best to stay away from them. In general, cases of flu don’t normally float in the air. Instead, once droplets are dispersed, they tend to rest on surfaces including door handles, money and common household and work objects. It’s important to note that smooth surfaces spread viruses faster than porous or rough surfaces. In today’s environment, make sure to properly wear a mask when you are out in public.

The takeaway

Your health should always be a priority, so do your best to keep yourself and others safe by avoiding public spaces when you’re sick. The best thing you can do is adopt healthy habits and wash your hands consistently.

At Pacific First Aid, we sell first aid supplies and first aid kits that you can use when you’re sick, including reusable face masks and hand sanitizers. Stay safe this flu and cold season with all the protective gear.