Influenza Prevention Tips
The www.fightflu.ca website, created by the Government of Canada, provides information about flu symptoms, shots and management and an interactive map of nearby vaccine clinics. A Parent’s Guide to Immunization is available in French, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Urdu.
Also available is a The Benefits of Hand Washing pamphlet. “Washing your hands correctly (or using an alcohol-based hand rub) is the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself against a number of infectious diseases, such as influenza (the “flu”) and the common cold. Not only will it help keep you healthy, it will help prevent the spread of infectious diseases to others.” The pamphlet explains the need for regular, thorough hand washing to protect yourself and those around you, especially the very young, the elderly, those with a pre-existing disease and people with compromised immune systems. It explains the proper methods of hand washing or using an alcohol-based hand rub and lists further steps you can take to protect yourself and your family, such as:
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing or using tissues, before and after eating, before preparing food, after handling raw meat, after petting an animal, and after using the bathroom.
- When you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or raise your arm up to your face and aim for your sleeve. Do not sneeze into your hand. Throw away tissues as soon as you use them.
- Clean surfaces in your home regularly, paying particular attention to doorknobs, light switches, telephones and keyboards.
- If you have young children, teach them good hygiene and how to wash their hands properly.
- If you use bar soap, keep it in a self-draining holder that can be cleaned thoroughly before a new bar is added.
- Don’t use a single damp cloth to wash a group of children’s hands.
- Don’t use a standing basin of water to rinse your hands.
- Don’t use a common hand towel.
- Don’t use sponges or non-disposable cleaning cloths unless you change them daily and launder them using detergent. Germs thrive on moist surfaces.
The site also provides a number of downloadable resources for sharing.
- Get the Flu Vaccine Every Year poster includes a checklist:
- Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Clean & disinfect surfaces and objects that you touch often.
- Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand.
- Stay home until your symptoms are gone.
- Clean your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.
- Is It a Cold or the Flu identifies the symptoms of each, along with those they share.
- Know the Flu Facts lists 5 important points, along with information around each:
- The Flu can be a serious disease.
- You need to get vaccinated every year
- You can’t get the Flu from the Flu vaccine.
- The Flu vaccine is safe.
- Everybody wins when you get vaccinated.
- Get the Flu Vaccine poster.
- Don’t wait to get the Flu Vaccine infographic:
- You can spread the flu up to 24 hours before your symptoms start.
- The flu shot can prevent up to 80% of flu infections in healthy individuals.
- An average of 12,200 Canadians are admitted to the hospital due to the flu each year.
- Up to 7 million Canadians get the flu each year.
- Approximately 2,500 Canadians die from the flu each year.
- Influenza is a pocket guide for Health Professionals.
- It’s Flu Season tear pad for childcare is downloadable as a pdf. “Did you know KIDS UNDER 5 are at higher risk of serious complications (like pneumonia) from the flu?” To prevent getting or spreading the flu:
- Each year get a flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age.
- Teach your kids to clean their hands frequently, cough and sneeze into their arm, not their hand; keep their hands away from their face.
- Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected.
- If you or your child gets sick, stay home.