Protect yourself from the cold and flu, wash those hands


Like “Turn out the lights” and “Don’t slam the door,” being told to “Wash your hands” is one of those universal instructions children hear every day. But it’s more than that. Hand washing has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to stay healthy.

Why the fuss? Because after you’ve touched something contaminated with viruses or bacteria, your hands give germs a free ride into your body through your eyes, nose or mouth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With cold and flu season upon us, it may be tempting to hibernate until the danger of red, puffy eyes and a stuffy nose disappears. While there is no guaranteed strategy for avoiding the flu or sniffles, there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself and your family.

Yes, you guessed it. Wash those hands! To ward off the cold and flu virus, lather your hands and scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying. Be sure to get the backs of your hands, as well as under your fingernails and between your fingers.

Get plenty of rest and eat right. Proper nutrition can boost your immune system to fight off disease.

Drink plenty of fluids and spray household and workplace objects with a disinfectant to reduce virus transmission.