The flu is a common virus that affects the throat, nose and lungs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that complications like ear infections, pneumonia, sinus infections, dehydration and even congestive heart failure and diabetes can arise from the flu. If you have a child with the flu, there are things you can do to protect yourself from becoming infected with the virus.
Keep the child in a “sick room” as much as possible. If you have more than one bathroom in your home, designate a certain bathroom for the child to use during the duration of his illness and have other people in the home, including yourself, use another bathroom.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Every time you have contact with the child, wash your hands immediately afterwards. Avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially if you haven’t washed your hands.
Disinfect the bathroom and other places in the home daily where the child has been. Spray a household disinfectant on all surfaces to kill any germs that may be present. Wash your hands immediately after cleaning.
Remind the child to cough in his elbow and to wash his hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, particularly after sneezing or coughing. This will help cut down on contamination in the house and the spread of the virus to you.
Avoid close contact with the child as much as possible. While you don’t have to forgo a hug from your sick little one, avoid kissing her on the lips and being in close proximity to her face.
Clean eating utensils and dishes used by the sick child immediately after use. It’s unnecessary to clean these items separately, but a thorough cleaning in hot, soapy water will help to prevent the virus from spreading to you if you use the same items.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccination for people 6 months of age and older.
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