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Tips For Avoiding The Flu From PM Pediatrics

Avoiding flu and containing the spread of germs is a top priority for everyone during these cold winter months. PM Pediatrics shares their expert advice about how to stay healthy this season!

Can you avoid the flu when a family member has it?


With so much recent media coverage about the new coronavirus, many conversations about influenza seem to have have gone radio silent, but the truth is that influenza remains in high circulation and most medical offices are seeing lots of it right now. Think you can’t avoid the flu if someone in your family brings it home? Think again. It’s  hard but worth a try. Try executing these six tips at the first sign your family member may have it. Thanks to Dr. Christina Johns, Senior Medical Advisor at PM  Pediatrics for this advice!

Get A Flu Shot

The best way to avoid the flu when it is circulating is to get immunized before exposure happens. It takes about 2 weeks for the body to mount an adequate response to avoid getting the flu. The flu shot is never 100% effective, but having some protection is better than none – and no, getting the flu shot does not cause the flu. Once exposed to someone who has the flu, if you get infected, it is usually about 1 to 5 days after coming in contact before symptoms appear.

Play Keep Away

As hard as this sounds, keep the sick family member away from the rest of the family. For adults this won’t take much convincing. For kids it may be hard to keep siblings away. Do the best you can. Designate one room as the “sick room” and try to keep the individual with the flu in that room and out of others. Another good idea is to have a “sick chair” in the family room or common area: put a sheet over it and that’s where the sick person gets to sit, at least 6 feet away from others.

Disinfect ASAP

Germs can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours. Disinfect surfaces and commonly touched places in your home often. This includes: remote controls, telephones, mobile phones, door knobs, light switches, computers, and children’s toys. Also, keep bed/crib sheets and pillow cases clean.

Wash Your Hands

Wash hands with warm water and antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds. A good way to remember this is to sing the ABC song or Happy Birthday, twice.Wash hands before and after eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after returning home from public places. Other than a flu shot, this is probably one of the simplest and most effective way to avoid getting the flu. Keep hand sanitizer with you when you’re on the go and don’t have immediate access to warm water and soap.

Don’t Touch Your Face

Germs are transferred through the nose, mouth and eyes. If you have unwashed hands, you’re at risk for transferring those nasty flu germs.

Dispose of Tissues

Seems obvious, but it’s all about keeping germs at bay. Throw away used tissues, saline wipes, etc. immediately after using them into a trash receptacle with a lid.

Cough/Sneeze In Your Elbow

If you find yourself coughing and sneezing, do it into your elbows. Helps prevent germs from spreading!


When it comes to the flu, the most effective way to prevent it or shorten its length is with a flu shot. If you notice your loved one’s symptoms within the first 24-48 hours head to an urgent care or primary care physician to discuss whether or not Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Xofluza is right for you or your child. These medicines can reduce flu symptoms and illness duration in some people. Tamiflu is usually reserved for high risk individuals: those younger than 2 years and older than 65, those with weakened immune systems, chronic respiratory illnesses, and pregnant women, but everyone should discuss with their healthcare professional what is best for them individually. And, of course, a smart way to prevent any illness is to get plenty of rest, keep the body healthy and strong with a diet rich in fruits, veggies, healthy grains, lean protein,and getting plenty of hydration. Stay well, everyone!



PM Pediatrics offers specialized urgent care for children and young adults. Unlike traditional urgent care practices, we specialize in treating patients from the cradle to college, 365 days a year, every day until midnight. Visit pmpediatrics.com to find a location near you!