National Handwashing Awareness Week: Tips on How to Avoid Flu Season

by 
Living Livita
January 20, 2024
National Handwashing Awareness Week

As the days grow colder and with the holiday season fast approaching, it's not only festivities that fill the air. Flu germs are not far behind. National Handwashing Awareness Week, which falls in December, serves as a timely reminder of the importance of this simple yet powerful practice in preventing the spread of illness.

It may seem so simple, but it's one of the most important aspects on how to keep yourself safe during flu season. That being said, we've also outlined some other helpful tips and tricks on how to try and avoid the flu at all costs.

Understanding the Importance of Handwashing

Handwashing is one of the most effective and accessible means of preventing the flu and other contagious illnesses. The reason is simple: our hands are a breeding ground for germs. We touch countless surfaces every day, many of which may be contaminated with bacteria. Without thinking, we will touch our face, eyes, nose, or mouth, providing an entry point for these germs to invade our bodies. Regular handwashing can help break this transmission cycle of the season’s influenza.

Tips to Avoid Flu Season

This is where National Handwashing Awareness Week comes in. It is recognized annually in early December and serves to educate people about the importance of proper handwashing techniques, and in general, how to keep yourself from getting sick. It's a perfect time to refresh your knowledge.

  • Frequent Handwashing: Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done after using the restroom, before eating, and after being in public spaces.
  • Proper Technique: Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly by scrubbing all areas, including the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Don't forget to clean your wrists as well.
  • Hand Sanitizer: In situations where soap and water are not available, carry a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Use it to disinfect your hands when necessary.
  • Avoid Touching Your Face: Train yourself to avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. This can significantly reduce the risk of flu transmission.
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues immediately during flu season month (and all months, for that matter).
  • Regular Cleaning: Keep frequently touched surfaces in your home and workspace clean and disinfected. This includes doorknobs, light switches, and countertops.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: A strong immune system is your best defense against the flu. Make sure to stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Get Vaccinated: Consult your healthcare provider about getting a flu vaccine during the cold and flu season. This is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and others from the flu.
  • Avoid Close Contact with the Sick: If someone around you is sick, try to maintain a safe distance and encourage them to follow good hygiene practices.
  • Rest and Self-Care: Don't forget the importance of rest and self-care. A well-rested body is better equipped to fight off infections.

Staying Safe at Queen’s Avenue Retirement Residences

By adopting good handwashing practices and incorporating these tips into our daily lives, we can reduce the risk of getting sick and protect those around us.  It's a small effort that can lead to significant health benefits for you and your community.

At our retirement homes, we make it our mission to have spaces that are clean, sanitized, and that whoever catches the flu is properly taken care of. To learn more about all of our services, or to ask us any questions, contact us today.

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