Cincinnati Family Magazine

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May 19, 2024

Protect Kids From Flu

A little awareness goes a long way when you’re out in public with your kids during flu season.

You know that moment when you’re at a public restroom with your toddler and just trying to get hands washed and out the door? How about when you then go to open the door to get out and the knob is kinda damp, or worse, wet? Doorknobs can be hazardous items during flu season, so take extra care.

Want to protect kids from flu?

Most flu viruses can live one to two days on nonporous surfaces, and 8 to 12 hours on porous surfaces, so tell your kids to wash their hands frequently, but to also try and NOT touch their mouths or noses. With kids that’s easier said than done … but it’s helpful to be aware. Avoiding the flu means avoiding contact with it — but with fast-moving kids that’s easier said than done. On skin, flu viruses last less than a few minutes, but on light switches, cell phones and other hard non-porous objects, it can survive up to 48 hours. Recently, flu researchers from the National Institute of Health studied 249 people in public places and learned that people touch their faces an average of 3.6 times per hour, and common objects an average of 3.3 times per hour.  Every time you touch your nose or mouth then a surface, you transfer bacteria.

Teach kids these tips:


• Wash hands 6 – 8 times a day
• Keep instand hand sanitizer with you and use it on yourself and the kids
• Avoid touching the nose and mouth
• Be aware of others who may be sick around you
• Get your kids the flu mist or shot — talk to your pediatrician about it if you’re uncertain



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