Germs and Viruses: How to Protect Your Family

How can something you can’t even see be so dangerous? Germs and viruses can attack your family at any time. However, there are ways to protect you family from illness this year. Follow these tips to be safe and healthy

Wash up
Germs and viruses can travel from person to person and even linger on objects like toys, doorknobs, phones, and other shared items. Washing your hands frequently with soap and hot water or using a liquid hand sanitizer can go a long way in keeping germs at bay. Teach children to wash up frequently and thoroughly. At least 20 seconds of lathering is required for soap to be effective—that’s twice through the Happy Birthday song!

Disinfect your environment
Wipe down counters, toys, and other commonly touched surfaces in your home frequently. Use specifically designed disinfectant cleaners. Send in disinfecting wipes to your child’s school to ensure the teacher has plenty of supplies for keeping the room clean and sanitized.

Prepare foods properly
Keep raw meats separate from other foods such as vegetables when cooking. Always use a sanitized surface and clean utensils. Germs from food can live on surfaces for hours and even days. Cook all foods to the proper temperature to ensure they are fully cooked and safe to eat. 

Get vaccinated
Viruses like the flu can be prevented through vaccine. Get a flu shot early in the season and follow your doctor’s recommendation for other vaccines. 

Medicate properly
Antibiotics are for treating bacterial illnesses. All family members should follow doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed when using antibiotics. Antibiotics cannot treat viruses like the flu and should not be used, since there can be negative effects on your health due to misuse.

Be safe around animals
Pets are members of the family and need their proper vaccinations and medications. Some germs can be transferred from animals to people, so make sure your pets are kept healthy. Always wash up after playing with pets. Beware of wild animals. They have not been vaccinated against any illnesses and may give germs and viruses to children or adults who come in contact with them. Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance, and call your town animal services if you see a hurt or ill animal. 

Get educated
St. Petersburg General Hospital wants your family to be healthy and safe. Check out this fun video about the flu.

You can also learn more about protecting your family from germs and viruses on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 6 pm. Dr. Roopa Ganga, who is Board Certified in Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease, will be presenting “Protecting Yourself from Germs and Viruses.” This free event will be held at Magnolia Gardens, 3800 62nd Avenue North in Pinellas Park, FL 33781. To register or get more information, visit our online calendar of events or call 1-888-741-5122. 

Related Posts:
Egg on Your Face: Know the Facts of Salmonella
Rapid Killers: Bacterial Meningitis and Sepsis

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