BY PAMELA CURRIER
With cold and flu season nearly upon us, it is time to start taking steps to prevent becoming sick this year. Students seem to be especially vulnerable to colds and flus, and there are several reason for this. For one thing, there are thousands of people in one small area, and it is easy for germs to spread from person to person. Also, when you are studying hard, it can be easy for your system to become run down, and that opens the door for cold and flu germs to take over. Today we are going to look at some of the best cold and flu prevention tips for college students.
- Clean Your Computer
There are things that you touch all the time, such as your computer, phone, stove and fridge handles, etc. Make sure that you regularly clean and disinfect anything that you or other people touch frequently to get keep germs from spreading. Don’t forget to have hand sanitizer, so you can sanitize your hands after touching things that are used by others.
- Brushing Your Teeth
Always use different sinks for brushing your teeth and doing the dishes. If you need to wash dishes, don’t do the in your bathroom. Use the kitchen or utility room in your dorm. Bathroom surfaces are easily contaminated, and you run the risk of spreading various germs, including E. coli and salmonella.
- Do Not Share Towels
Make sure that you always use your own towels, and don’t share it with anyone else. “Towels are a breeding ground for many germs, and if someone who has a cold or the flu uses your towel, chances are you are going to be sick within a few days yourself. Don’t share towels,” explains an expert from Integrative Health Center.
- Avoid Second-Hand Smoke
Here is another great reason to avoid being around smokers. Not only is the smoke bad for your lungs, it can also lead to a variety of illnesses, including meningitis. It also inflames the mucus membranes in the throat, which is going to make anyone more susceptible to illnesses such as colds.
- Get a Flu Shot
It only takes a few minutes to get a flu shot, and this is going to be one of your best defenses against the virus. Find out if your school offers free flu shots, or see if there are any local clinics where you can get yours right away. The sooner you get the shot, the less likely you will be to end up with the flu this winter.
- Avoid Close Contact
Whether someone is sick or healthy, it is best to avoid close contact with them in order to prevent the spread of germs. This is especially important if you have a compromised immune system, in which case it is best to avoid large crowds, especially during cold and flu season.
- Stock Your Medicine Cabinet
“No matter how many ways you try to avoid getting sick, chances are that you are going to end up with a cold or the flu at some point during the year. Make sure that you are prepared by having a fully-stocked medicine cabinet that has things like cough syrup, throat lozenges, nasal spray, decongestant,” suggests Dr. Shawn Khodadadian.
- Don’t Touch Your Face
You know how your mother always told you to keep your hands away from your face or mouth? It wasn’t just to keep you from getting pimples. Touching your eyes, nose, and mouth is not only a great way for germs to get into your body, but if you already have the germs, it is also a great way to spread them to others.
Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.