As college students start on to settle into their new dorm rooms at campuses countrywide, one New York City-based public health advocate is contribution some basic advice to help them stay healthy during the upcoming flu season.
Kathryn Hutchinson, executive director of health and wellness at St. John's University, meaningful out that the first thing students should do, ideally before leaving home, is to discuss the option of getting a flu vaccine with their parents and physician. This may help improve any anxiety students have about whether or not to get the shot.
Ahead of taking that step, Hutchinson encourages students to arrive at school armed and ready to keep their hands clean and preserve a sanitary environment. That means stocking a supply of soap, as well as cleaning provisions to wipe down desks, sinks, computer keyboards and any other shared surfaces.
Frequent handwashing is a must, and hand sanitizers are useful when washing is impossible. But, Hutchinson harassed, sharing glassware, utensils and personal items such as toiletries (razors, toothbrushes, combs) is definitely not a good idea.
Also, students are urged to keep a digital thermometer on hand, and their health insurance card in case they need medical attention.
One good way to keep from distribution germs is to practice "cough etiquette" -- in other words cover the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, bowl away any used tissues immediately, and wash your hands as soon as possible.
Overall, Hutchinson said, most students will find that the usual recommendations -- an work out routine, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep -- are the keys to staying healthy, as well as reducing their stress. But if and when health problems arise, she advises students to call a health care professional immediately.