The main way colds get passed around is when someone who’s sick coughs or sneezes. Little droplets with germs land on places like doorknobs, telephones, and computer keyboards. Or the sick person coughs or sneezes into their hands and then touches those objects.
Then you come along, happy and healthy, and touch that spot. Next, without even realizing it, you might touch your nose and mouth. Voila! In an instant you’re infected.
Some viruses — tiny living things that cause colds — can live on surfaces for hours. Regular hand washing is your best strategy to keep them from getting inside your body. And of course, if you’re the one who’s sick, washing up will keep you from spreading your germs.
Many of us get so busy, we simply forget to wash our hands the right way. Here’s the drill:
Good hand hygiene is important and effective in preventing the spread of any strain of flu virus.
All influenza viruses are spread from person to person in respiratory droplets propelled by coughs and sneezes from an infected person to the mouth or nose of another person. They also spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on an object or person and then touches his or her own mouth or nose.
Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue away, or in the inside of his or her elbow (the “crook” of your arm).
The single most important thing you and your child can do to prevent the spread of influenza virus is — wash your hands! Rub your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.