We are all being inundated with updates about the swine flu; fact is we need to act preventatively ALL the time! This includes:
• Hand washing. After every diaper change. After shaking hands (a greeting that I suspect will become a thing of the past) After returning home from being out in the world. After gardening. And after using the bathroom…believe it or not, there are people in the world who don’t…yuck!
• Coughing and sneezing into our sleeve or the crook of your elbow. No longer considered OK to use your hands to cover your nose and mouth…kindergartners have been using this new approach for sometime-time for the adults to jump on board.
• Hard plastics are not dishwasher safe due to the breakdown and release of BPA-which most of you know by now. A new warning about leaving plastic water bottles in cars has just been released. It seems that dioxins are released from the plastic from the heat in the car…we end up drinking that. The trend towards metal/canteen type containers is no longer a fad-it is the safest way to hydrate.
• Shoes off inside our homes is another approach to decrease tracking the rest of the world into our cozy little nests. Particularly with infants and children spending so much time playing and exploring on the floor…it makes sense that we park the shoes at the door.
• Symptoms: Ask friends and family to NOT visit if they feel the least bit under the weather. We are the most contagious when the cold or flu is brewing in our bodies. By the time the illness is in full swing, we are actually less contagious. Follow the 3 day rule: asymptomatic and in the pink of health for 3 full days before coming to visit.
This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to preventing illness. Raising awareness and doing your best every day makes a big difference-try not to become neurotic about it!