Achoo! Cough, cough. Its here. Cold and flu season has arrived and if you werent sure before, just take a look at our absentee list. Or peek at the list of early check-outs. Sometimes it seems as if the UCHS population is falling as fast as wintertime temps do on occasion. You name the bug we have it. Just ask Ms. Brinkley, our wonderful school nurse who is seeing it all.
Especially in East Tennessee, where the weather seems to change every time we blink, its important to take care of yourself. Since the weather is unpredictable, that may include layering your clothes. Wear a jacket and hat in the morning even though you may not need it in the afternoon. Bring along a long-sleeved sweater that can be easily slipped on over those short sleeves should the temperature drop during the day. Be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may have to dish out. In our area, its just not unusual to see 50s in the morning and 20s in the afternoon.
Probably the most important thing you can do, though, is wash your hands. Wash them a lot. Tuck the hand sanitizer into a pocket or purse. Our hands are terrible culprits when it comes to making us sick, so be careful where you put them. Dont touch a doorknob then rub your eyes. Whenever we touch our face, we bring all the germs our hands have come into contact with throughout the day. Take time to wash germs away and do it often.
What do your meals look like? Are you eating those fruits and vegetables? Are you getting enough sleep? How about exercise? Those daily routines can mean a lot. Taking care of ourselves in those ways can keep us healthier day in and day out. Its difficult to remain healthy on five hours of sleep.
A balanced diet improves our immunities. Especially if you find yourself sick very often, then you might want to take a look at your habits.
And if you are sick stay home. Yes, attendance at school and work is important, but not at the expense of the health of yourself and others. If youve had a temperature over 100 or are throwing up, you should be at home. Nothing is so important that it cant wait for you to feel better. When returning to school, just be sure to bring either a parent note or a doctors excuse. Teachers are happy to help those with excused absences catch up.
So wash your hands, eat right, sleep well, and if you need to stay home. Cold and flu season wont last forever. Lets all just take care of ourselves and cross our fingers that spring is just around the corner.