- Wash your hands - You touch many surfaces throughout the day that serve as a way for germs to hitch a ride on your body. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing meals and eating. When you wash your hands: Use warm water and soap. Wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds (sing the Happy Birthday song) Dry your hands with a clean paper towel and use the towel to shut off the tap. Note: using hand sanitizer helps to kill bacteria, but it does not kill viruses which are responsible for flu and colds
- Wash your face and hands before bed - Your hands and face are exposed all day so you want to be sure you wash away the day's grime before bed.
- Clean the fomites in your house frequently -Fomites are objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with bacteria and or viruses. Fomites are things like countertops, doorknobs, remote controls, your phone, etc
- Do not share drinks or utensils - Your friend might not look sick today but they may already be infected with a cold or flu so think twice before sharing
- Get plenty of rest - be sure to get 8 hours of sleep each night. I realize this might be difficult especially during exam time but it is extremely important. All of your studying won't be worth anything if you are sick for the exam.
- Eat well - Eat plenty of fruits and veggies especially those that are packed with Vitamin C like oranges and spinach. Also add garlic, onions, ginger and cinnamon to your diet.
- Prevent Stress - Stress can weaken the immune system. Exercise is a great stress reliever so make it a point to get a workout in 3-4 times a week. Yoga and meditation are also great for getting rid of stress.
If the worse does happen and you do get sick, make sure that you take good care of yourself and see your doctor. You can also visit the Resources4Teens Natural Remedies page for some helpful tips to get you back on track.