The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu. The tips and resources below will help you learn about steps you can take to protect yourself and others from flu and help stop the spread of germs.
Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
It’s a SNAP Toolkit: Handwashing
Hand washing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Sunburns are the result of over exposure to UVB rays from the sun. They cause the skin to redden and blister, damaging the outer protective layers of the skin. Just one bad sunburn can lead to long-lasting damage to the skin and increase the risk for skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one out of five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Prevention is the best way to avoid sunburn. These tips will help when you’re outdoors.
Avoid the sun during peak hours of 10am – 2 pm.
Wear clothing with UPF protection (ultraviolet protection factor) UPF 50+ helps block 98% of UVA/UVB rays.
Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors, even on a cloudy day. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you.
Use sunscreen year round. Some of the worst sunburns have occurred in the winter.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
Use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.
Use a sunscreen that is water resistant (40-80 minutes).
Use plenty of sunscreen. An adult should use about 1 oz. of sunscreen to cover exposed areas of the skin (equal to a shot glass).
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.
Don’t forget about your lips. Protect your lips with a broad spectrum lip protectantof at least a SPF 15 or more.
Be sure to apply sunscreen to vulnerable areas such as ears, neck, and top of feet.
If your hair is thinning or your head is bald, apply sunscreen to your scalp.
Take sunscreen with you wherever you go.
Don’t use expired product.
Remember, people who get sunburns don’t protect themselves with proper measures. They leave their skin vulnerable by not wearing protective clothing and usually don’t apply enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply after being in the sun or water, or use expired product.
Don’t forget that 80% of UVB rays can reflect from surfaces such as ice, snow, and sand and increase UV exposure. UVA rays can penetrate through glass, such as your car window.
Vanicream™ Sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection and are water resistant (80 minutes). Formulated for sensitive skin, they are free of common chemical irritantsfound in ordinary sunscreens. No PABA or oxybenzone. Non-comedogenic, gluten-free, and kid-friendly. When Vanicream™ Sunscreens are used as directed with other sun protective measures, they help provide protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays and decrease the risk of skin cancer and aging.
Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. If you’re losing fluids for any of these reasons, it’s important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body’s natural hydration levels. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
How Much Water Do You Need?
There’s no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they’re thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they’re thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it’s clear, you’re in good shape. If it’s dark, you’re probably dehydrated.