October 19, 2018
It’s October and that means it’s cold and flu season. Middle schools can be like petri dishes — full of germs.
When we don’t feel great, we either stay home, or go home from school — which means we miss school work, leading to more stress and more homework. When you miss multiple days, it can pile up.
Sadly, we can’t stop flu season. But we can prepare for it.
Illnesses are spread by interaction. Touching each other, or sharing things, such as pencils, spreads germs. But preventing the spread of germs can be simple. First of all, wash your hands — thoroughly and often. Sickness often spreads when you chew your nails, or put your hands by your mouth in some way.
Using hand sanitizer is always a good idea after each class. You can get a small bottle of it to keep in your locker.
If you are sick, sneeze and cough into the cup of your elbow, and not into the air randomly. Don’t share your water bottle with anyone.
When you are sick, depending on how bad your sickness, you should see a doctor. Talk to your parents and tell them you are feeling under the weather. If they make you go to school, make sure to take it easy, but still stay focused. If you are starting to really feel sick, you should go home.
Missing school is pain — we ALL know that — mostly because of how much work we have to make up. If you know the night before that you are missing school because you are sick, text your friends and ask if they will gather work. You can also check websites your teachers provide for you. If teachers don’t provide those kind of resources, make sure to ask them in class, or ask a student. Write what they tell you down in your planner so you don’t forget.
Being sick is a pain — you feel disgusting. Make sure when you are sick, you drink enough water, and get enough sleep. Also, rest when you’re at home. Don’t bounce around, just relax. It’s the one time you can do Netflix and chill.
When you have a simple cold, fruits like bananas and blueberries are good for you. If you’re coughing, have some honey. And warm tea or milk can really soothe a sore throat.
Most doctors recommend the flu shot. But, some concerns come with it. According to Healthline, some ingredients in the flu shot vaccine such as Thimerosal have created health risks. Thimerosal contains mercury, which can be very toxic in large doses. But, there is a Mercury free flu shot option.
After your flu shot be cautious and aware. Some people get fever, headache, swelling of the skin around the shot, and fatigue after their flu shot. If you have, trouble breathing, swelling in your eyes or lips, hives, weakness, fast heartbeat, or dizziness you should contact your doctor and go to the emergency room right away.
The best thing to do is not to get sick at all. Stay active and get enough sleep. Eat right — not just a bag of potato chips for lunch. It’s true potato chips won’t give you the flu, but nutrition is important.
Do everyone a favor and stay healthy this year.