7 Tips for Cold and Flu Season

Brought to you by WebMD and Puffs™

Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands

If you get a cold or flu this year, you may have your dirty hands to thank. Many viruses are spread that way. You pick up germs on your fingers and then get them in your mouth or eyes.

The solution: Wash your hands with soap often and well. It’s a key way to prevent a cold or flu.

Get Your Flu Shot

Get Your Flu Shot

You may think of the flu as a minor problem, but it can be severe, sidelining you for days. It can even be dangerous, especially for young children, older adults, and pregnant women. One little shot may save you and your family a lot of misery. It’s a myth that a flu shot can give you the flu.

Be Prepared

Be Prepared for Cold Season

Before you battle cold and flu germs, make sure you have the supplies you need. Stock your medicine cabinet with any drugs you use, like pain relievers or decongestants. Don’t forget tissues, soap, and hand sanitizer. Make sure your thermometer battery still works. At the supermarket, load up on fluids, herbal tea, and simple comfort foods like chicken soup for when you’re sick.

Pay Attention To Symptoms

Pay Attention to Symptoms

Cold or flu? There’s no surefire way to tell the symptoms apart. Even your doctor may not be sure.

Usually, colds are milder. You might have a runny or stuffy nose.

The flu is usually more severe and comes on suddenly — probably knocking you off your feet for a few days. Fever, body aches, and exhaustion are more common with the flu.

Get The Right Medications

Get the Right Medications

There are lots of cold and flu remedies to choose from at the drugstore. Be smart about the ones you use.

Many experts say you should avoid combination medications that package lots of drugs in one pill — like a decongestant, cough suppressant, and a painkiller. You could wind up getting a drug for symptoms you don’t have. Read labels and choose only the medications that will help.

Skip The Antiobiotics

Skip the Antibiotics

Colds and flu are caused by viruses, so antibiotics will not help. They work only with bacterial infections. What’s more, using antibiotics when you don’t need them increases the risk of breeding dangerous germs that are resistant to drugs.

Stay Home

If You’re Sick, Stay Home

It may not be easy to take a sick day. But if you have a cold or flu, you should. If you push yourself when you’re sick and work instead of rest, your body may have a harder time fighting off the virus. Your cold could last longer. You could also spread the virus to other people.

So when you’re sick, stay home, rest, and recover. It’s better for you and everyone around you.

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