Doctors always say, “If you're sick, then stay home!” While a smart tip to prevent the spread of contagious cold and flu bacteria, this advice can be a recipe for disaster when you have a family. The last thing you need is for you and your entire brood to come down with the flu. While there's no such thing as a foolproof plan when it comes to flu prevention, here are a few tips to show you how to get rid of the flu at home.
1. Don't Smoke. Yet another reason to quit, smoking severely zaps the immune system. Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe and frequent colds than nonsmokers. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and damages the cilia -- the small hairs inside your nose that catch germs as they enter. Even being around smoke can increase your chances of catching the flu or cold.
2. Eat Green Put away the vitamins and whip up a salad. Eating green things helps to strengthen your immune system and ward off the flu. Phytochemicals in plants give vitamins and nutrients a supercharged boost that pill form vitamins can't compete with. The more colorful the vegetables, the more filled with antioxidants. So bring out those dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.
3. Wash Your Hands Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and warm water. If there's no soap around, try an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is especially important before eating or after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Often we don't realize how many communal things our hands touch during the day. Try the Lysol® No-Touch Hand Soap System to eliminate having to touch the germy soap pump, as well. Washing your hands regularly is a great way to stop the spread of bacteria, even when it's not flu season.
4. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects. Studies have found that cold and flu bacteria can survive on surfaces for up to eight hours. For proper flu prevention, wipe down all communal surfaces on a daily basis. This means doorknobs, tablets, countertops, remotes, the toilet flusher, bed side tables and anything else you can think of. And don't forget your phone! Use a disinfectant to wipe down the most used surfaces in your home on a routine basis to prevent germs from overstaying their welcome.
5. Cover your mouth and nose – but not with your hands. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, and teach kids to do the same. The number one choice is always a tissue, but if you're out of luck and there are none, doctors recommend sneezing or coughing into your elbow or sleeve. Bacteria can survive on your palm for up to three hours leaving your hand a no-go. Since the fabric on your sleeve will stop the spread of droplets that contain the virus and the inside of your elbow rarely comes into contact with other surfaces, the risk of spreading germs is greatly reduced.
6. Let the Sunshine In. Cold and flu season is usually in winter for a variety of reasons, but one big one is air doesn't circulate and becomes ripe with germs. Open your windows and get some fresh air in your home – even if it means making your home a little chilly. The sun is also a great sanitizer. Your windows are designed to block out the majority of UV rays from the sun. But those same UV rays that cause sunburns also cause the same type of disruption to viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms.
7. Go Disposable. Shared towels or cups in the bathrooms are an easy way for cold germs to spread. Think about going disposable for a week if someone in your house is sick. Stock up on Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes, disposable cups and paper towels until the flu is out of your house once and for all. Cold and Flu bacteria is a tricky business. Don't try and take on these germs alone. Let Lysol® help show you how to get rid of the flu at home.