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Your Healthy Family: As flu season comes on, it's National Handwashing Week

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Handwashing is the single most important entity in controlling infections in health care Handwashing is the single most important entity in controlling infections in health care

The first week of December is “National Handwashing Week” and as flu season is ramping up here in Colorado and across the country besides getting your flu shot, hand washing can be the next biggest defense to not getting sick.  

Phyllis Woods is the manager of infection prevention with UCHealth Memorial who says,

"Handwashing is the single most important entity in controlling infections in health care.  It's  very important that everybody washes their hands.  The prescribed amount of time that we we utilize here at UCHealth Memorial is the CDC’s recommendation of at least 15 seconds.  How ever you get to 15 seconds is fine, some people sing the ABC’s twice, some people sing Zippidy Do Da, we don't care how you do it as long as you do a minimum of 15 seconds you're golden."

Flu isn't the only concern this time of year.  Upper respiratory infections, strep throat and the dreaded common cold are all making the rounds.  These bugs have plenty of opportunities to spread says Dr. Robert Sayers with Kids Are Great Pediatrics in Colorado Springs.

Dr. Sayers says, “Every time you group a bunch of people together especially kids, which a lot of parents are experiencing right now because of school, we have a lot of kids getting sick because it’s spread in the classroom and they will come down with something.”

Doctor Skyler Kalady is a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's and says the first daily step that children and parents can take to help lessen their chance of getting sick always starts at the sink.  "Children should certainly wash their hands after they use the restroom, and before and after eating at minimum.  If they were to blow their nose, or something like that, they should be encouraged to wash their hands as well."

Doctors always talk about the importance of vaccinating your kids against the flu and if you haven't done it yet, it's certainly not too late for it to help keep you healthy this winter.

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