Unfortunately we can’t see where cold and flu germs are loitering around with the naked eye, so the best way to avoid picking them up is knowing the places they are found. Below is a list of 10 common places you can pick up flu, including some tips on how to avoid it.
1: Day Care and Preschool: Anyone who has a child going to day care or preschool knows this all too well. It seems to be a hub of germs and disease, and a great place for your kids to build up their immune system lol.
2: Supermarket Trolley Handles: As gross as this sounds, I have caught my 1 year old slobbering on the handle of the supermarket trolley before, which made me think if you are doing this then others must be too. Not only that, but people often cough and sneeze into their hands and then put them onto the handles, which means the next person coming along is likely to pick up their germs. Watch out for those trolley handles.
3: Aeroplanes: This has always been known as a cold and flu hotspot due to the recycled air that goes around and around for hours.
4: Public Transport: Because of the large numbers of people taking public transport all day, every day it becomes another hot spot for germs.
5: Shopping Centres: Due to the large amount of people coming and going in shopping centres more people = more cold and flu germs.
6: Large Sporting Events: Any event where there is a large gathering of people provides a multitude of opportunities for spreading flu.
7: The Doctor’s Office: This is a pretty obvious place that cold and flu germs like to loiter. One thing I would recommend when going to the doctor is to use your own pen when signing anything 😉
8: Indoor Playcentres: I swear every.single.time our family goes to an indoor play centre one of our kids ends up sick.
9: Home: We are often at the biggest risk of catching a cold or flu from those closest to us.
10: Work Office: Offices are said to harbour more germs than nearly any other place. Maybe it’s because no one wants to do a proper clean because people often think it is everyone else’s responsibility?
What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk:
Getting vaccinated against flu is one if the best ways you can avoid contracting influenza. This is particularly important for pregnant women. Did you know that children born to vaccinated mothers have a reduced risk of contracting influenza in the first 6 months of life? Pregnant women also have an increased risk of contracting influenza due to the fact that they have a suppressed immune system during pregnancy.
There is good news, if you are pregnant all you need to do is talk to your GP and you can access the influenza vaccine for free. You can find out more about the pregnancy influenza vaccine here
Some other things you can do to decrease your chance of contracting a cold or flu include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as this is the way germs spread.
- Staying as healthy as possible with good sleep, exercise and a healthy diet.
- If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
- Use disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces that you have to touch e.g. trolley handles
And remember, if you are pregnant you are able to access a free vaccination to give you and your baby the best chance of avoiding flu and the complications it can cause. This includes hospitalisation, intensive care admission and pre-term delivery which have all been consequences of pregnant women contracting influenza. You can find out more about it here