Last year I took a trip to the doctor’s office when one of my kids was sick, and I was amused by a PSA-style poster offering helpful tips on how to stay well during cold and flu season.
This poster, which I’m pretty certain was made by the Centers for Disease Control, included such helpful advice such as “avoid sick people.”
Really? You mean, if I don’t want to get sick, I shouldn’t hang out with sick people on purpose?
Who the hell is doing that? Obviously, if you’re a medical professional, teacher, daycare provider, anyone working with the general public/children, or you are a parent, this doesn’t apply to you…
I’m not sure how many people that actually leaves, but for the handful of you out there, in case you didn’t know it, don’t seek out sick people and spend your free time with them. It’s not cool, and it could make you get sick too.
The rest of the poster was also full of helpful advice, but as I sat there with my sick child, I realized this poster was aimed primarily at (stupid) adults. Kids, at least my young ones, needed some more specific advice if we had any hope of not making our sick visits a routine throughout the winter and spring.
I’m re-sharing these tips after I thought of this post this morning when I saw my daughter wipe her snotty nose on her brother’s napkin and then put it back next to his plate. Yum!
Here are some of the actual tips from the poster and some of the kid-specific tips from me:
General Tip #1: Wash your hands frequently, especially before preparing or eating food.
Specific Kid’s Tip #1: Not all water is the same. When your older brother is at the sink, it is best to wait your turn instead of soaping up your hands and rinsing them in the toilet.
General Tip #2: Most cold and flu germs enter your body through your mouth, nose or eyes. Therefore keep your hands off your face which should help prevent germs from entering your system.
Specific Kid’s Tip #2: Having your sibling pick your booger for you will prevent germs from spreading from your finger into your nose; however, it will not prevent your sibling’s germs from entering your system. Please use a tissue in this instance.
General Tip # 3: Get a flu shot if your doctor recommends it. Although it isn’t a guarantee, getting a flu shot each year is one of the best ways to prevent the flu.
Specific Kid’s Tip #3: While you are waiting to get your flu shot at the doctor’s office, try not to catch the flu by licking the glass door which is covered in flu-ridden fingerprints. This defeats the purpose of our visit.
General Tip #4: Eat healthy! Foods like fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants can help strengthen your immune system to keep you healthier.
Specific Kid’s Tip #4: Just because the United States Congress said pizza is a vegetable, doesn’t make it true. Fruit snacks don’t count either. Eat your damn green beans.
General Tip #5: Get plenty of sleep! Sufficient rest also helps the body function properly, and being well rested will further aid in your body being able to fight off illnesses.
Specific Kid’s Tip #5: As the popular book by Adam Mansbach’s so eloquently states, Go the F**k to Sleep!
I hope these tips were helpful, and I wish you all a healthy cold and flu season! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my household, and expecting the worst but hoping for the best. Despite my best efforts, we’ve got our first major funk being passed around the house right not. I’ve spent most of the last week acting as a nurse and human tissue.
What are some of your tips for staying healthy?