Infection Prevention: Tips to Avoid Getting Sick
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Germs can easily spread through many different ways, such as:
- When someone who is sick, coughs or sneezes into the air;
- Through direct contact with someone who is sick;
- By touching a contaminated surface or object;
- By eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water;
- Through animals and insects, such as dogs and mosquitoes.
A person who is sick can sometimes spread their germs to others before they even show symptoms.
Here are some simple tips to avoid getting sick.
- Cleaning your hands is the best way to stop the spread of infection. Your hands can carry germs that you may not be able to see. Practice good hand hygiene.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Give children time to wash their hands. Use hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. For hand sanitizers, rub your hands together until the product evaporates.
- Clean your hands often, such as before and after eating, before and after preparing food, after petting an animal, and after using the bathroom.
- Use a moisturizing lotion if skin dryness is a problem. Your skin protects you against germs, which can enter your body through cuts on your skin.
- Avoid touching your face, such as your eyes, nose, or mouth, because that is where germs on your hands can enter your body.
- Regularly clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces and objects. These are surfaces that people often touch, such as door knobs, light switches, and diaper changing areas. Some germs can live on surfaces for a long time, and be carried by your hand when you touch the surface. Follow the cleaning instructions on your cleaning products.
- Stay at home if you are sick, so you do not spread the illness to others.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or into your arm to prevent spreading germs to others.
- Practice safe food handling. Food can become contaminated by germs. Wash all uncooked fruits and vegetables in clean water. Store and cook your food properly, using a probe thermometer. Do not let your raw foods touch your ready-to-eat food. Try to use separate cutting boards for raw and cooked meats. Avoid preparing food if you are sick.
- Do not share personal items, such as hairbrushes, toothbrushes, cups, water bottles, utensils, and razors. Some germs can pass through saliva and blood. Wash dishes in soap and water after use.
- Stay away from wild animals and protect yourself against insects, such as mosquitoes and ticks. Some animals and insects can carry germs that can make you seriously ill.
- Get vaccinated. Make sure you and your family are up-to-date on their vaccinations and get the annual flu vaccine. Vaccines help your body fight some germs better when you are exposed to the germs afterwards.
- Stay active and make healthy food choices. Doing so makes your body stronger, so that it can better fight off germs and prevent infections.