With Halloween right around the corner, there are lots of spooky sights and creepy creatures lurking around, including the flu! Trick-or-treating can be a lot of fun for the family, but with so many hands ringing doorbells and reaching into candy bowls, there is always an increased chance of bringing home more than just sugary sweets.
Here are some simple ways to keeping your family happy and healthy this Halloween:
- Get the flu shot. The best defense against the flu is to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated doesn’t just keep you healthy; it also helps reduce the risk for those around you. Doctors recommend everyone six months and over get the shot before Halloween. Remember, the flu vaccine doesn’t cause the flu. And if you do get the flu after getting the flu vaccine, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a less severe case and it won’t last as long.
- Keep your hands clean. Clean hands are an important line of defense against germs like the flu virus. Hands should be washed frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you’re out and about, keep some antibacterial gel handy for a quick fix.
- Do the elbow cough. As you move about on Halloween night, tissues may not be readily available. Teach kids to cough into their elbow, rather than their hands where they are more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.
- Disinfect hot spots. Prior to going out and upon returning home, use a disinfectant approved to kill cold and flu viruses to wipe surfaces like masks, costume props and candy buckets. It’s also a good idea to disinfect areas touched most frequently – like doorknobs, light switches, faucets and toys.
- Stay home if you have symptoms. We know the idea of missing out on trick-or-treating is scary, but if you or your little one isn’t feeling well, it’s best to stay home. By staying in, you reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others, plus you create the perfect excuse for cuddling up and watching your favorite frightful flick.
You can also fight the flu on a daily basis by keeping your immune system strong. Here are some great immune boosters:
- Keep hands clean by washing frequently.
- Get a full night’s sleep
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Engage in regular exercise or physical activity
Say “boo!” to the flu and scare away the possibility of being sick!
For more info about preventing flu, signs and symptoms, and more, click here.