How Not to Share…Colds and Flu, That is!

By Millie Reynolds, Home Economist

Updated in July 2015 by the Manitoba Association of Home Economists

Fall is the season for catching colds and the flu! Needless to say, everyone would like to avoid “catching” these seasonal downers. Here are some hints that could lessen the chances of “the bug” getting ahold of you or you passing it on to others:

  • Wash hands frequently. Wet your hands with warm water. Apply soap. Wash the palms, the back of the hands, the wrists and between the fingers for 20 seconds, which is the length of time it takes to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Rinse and dry hands. Turn off tap with the towel.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Hands should be washed before touching or preparing food, eating and after using the bathroom, handling garbage, cleaning and holding used tissue.
  • If you are not able to wash your hands with soap and water use a hand gel with 60% alcohol. Follow the same process as for washing hands with soap and water.
  • Cough into your sleeve or into a corner to avoid spreading the virus to your hands.
  • Toss used tissues into the garbage – don’t recycle!
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Your hands can either introduce the organisms to you or pick up the organisms from you to pass on to others.
  • If possible, refrain from touching things that others frequently touch such as door knobs, railings, and taps.
  • Do not share foods, food utensils, drink containers, water bottles, or eye or lip makeup.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating. Aside from having chemicals on them, they may have been the recipient of a sneeze or two when in the store.
  • Store toothbrushes so they do not touch each other. Avoid having the tube touch the toothbrush when its being loading with toothpaste. After you have recovered from the flu or a cold, throw away your toothbrush and use a new one.
  • Frequently clean the bathroom, kitchen counters and sink areas with household cleaners or a dilute bleach solution.
  • If you are ill, stay at home so you do not pass it on to others. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you have a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water (3 mL/1/2 tsp) salt in cup of water. See your doctor is symptoms persist more than a few days.


Saskatoon Health Region