Fall is here and many of us begin to put into effect cold & flu season prevention tips. But when does flu season start exactly? And what can you do help stop the spread of cold and flu? Well, I have those answers for you here in this public awareness post which is sponsored by the Global Hygiene Council. They are committed to driving worldwide behavior change in hygiene practices to reduce the burden of common infectious diseases.
When Does Flu Season Start And End?
The short answer is, it starts NOW!
The fact is that seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round but flu season itself can start as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.
According to the CDC, flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and March. But again, now is the time to begin using cold & flu season prevention tips and they should be used year round.
Cold & Flu Season Prevention Tips
The Global Hygiene Council has created a brief video to encourage people to take extra care during the cold and flu season and to spread the message of better hygiene practices in order to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Watching this video is a great place to start for Cold & Flu Season Prevention Tips:
The Global Hygiene Council have launched the ‘Small Steps for Big Change’ campaign to raise awareness of the risks that children face and to focus attention on the hygiene changes that need to happen to keep children healthy.
Moms don’t get sick days and children play an important role in the spread of cold and flu. Children can touch surfaces up to 300 times in 30 minutes (statistic from International Scientific Forum) and cold and flu viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Hygiene changes can have a huge impact on Cold & Flu Season Prevention. Simple measures, such as covering the mouth when coughing, hand washing or using a hand sanitizer, disinfecting surfaces, and keeping food preparation areas hygienically clean, can have a huge impact on pediatric health and the incidence of diarrhea, cold, flu, pneumonia and gastrointestinal infections.
#1 Surface Disinfection
Surface disinfection is a vital line of prevention. With children touching so many things, disinfecting common areas and toys more frequently is a great method to prevent cold and flu spread. May wish to try this DIY sanitizing spray recipe.
#2. Hand Washing.
Hands can carry 3,000 different bacteria (Royal Society for Public Health) and yet inadequate hand hygiene practices are estimated to affect 80% of the global population (Tropical Medicine and International Health). As parents, we may have to remind our kids more frequently to wash their hands with warm water and soap rubbing vigorously for at least 20 seconds and getting all areas. They may need to be reminded to wash their hands after using the bathroom, before eating, after blowing their noise, after coughing, after touching common surfaces in public places, etc.
It is predicted that the risk of respiratory infection can be reduced by as much as 16% simply through handwashing with soap (Trop Med Int Health).
Something that may help you talk to your kid about how germs and why handwashing is so important is glitter! It is important that kids understand that touching things including your face can spread germs. Tell them that germs are sort of like glitter in that they get stuck to lots of things as you touch them. They can imagine germs are like invisible glitter. When you touch the glitter it gets stuck to your finger. When you touch your face, mouth, nose, eyes you just are putting glitter right in there. It’ll hurt and be itchy and won’t feel good. So when we touch “glitter” aka germs we must always wash our hands well so it that it doesn’t get everywhere and make us sick.
See more tips at hygienecouncil.org
The cold and flu season accounts for an insane number of missed school days and absences from work. Now that more bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant, it is more important than ever to put into practice these simple Cold & Flu Season Prevention Tips. These hygiene habits in addition to getting the flu vaccine can greatly reduce the cold and flu activity this season. I hope this is the reminder you needed to take extra care during the cold and flu season. Stay well!