Updated 01/16/2013 04:05 PM
Tips on caring for others with the flu without catching it yourself
If you haven't caught the flu yet, it's likely someone you know has. But how do you care for a sick loved one without catching the virus yourself? YNN's Maria Valvanis caught up with infection control specialists to answer that very question.
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NEW YORK -- "I want people to know when they're caring for a sick person at home, the biggest thing they need to remember is to wash their hands," said Jennifer Desjardins, Nathan Littauer Hospital.
It's a health tip we've all heard a thousand times, but the everyday habit does help. Still, health officials say there are other safety precautions you should take this flu season to protect yourself.
Desjardins said, "Set up a sick room for your family member who may be ill, limiting their exposure to the rest of the house and the rest of your family members is a key point."
They recommend designating one family member to be in contact with whoever has the virus. And when caring for a child, the way you hold them could put you more at risk.
"You might have this instinct as a mom to hold your baby really close to you, but you want to hold them at your shoulder so that their respirations are going out, you're eliminating the germs," said Desjardins.
One of the most important tips to remember is to keep common surfaces, like your TV remote, clean.
Desjardins said, "The lap top, computer station, door knobs, light switches, these are all things that everyone touches."
We're all used to coughing into our hands, but that's not recommended.
Desjardins said, "What we do recommend is to cough or sneeze into your sleeve, and that will prevent you from getting your germs on your hands and touching something else and spreading illness."
Just be sure to keep up with the laundry.