Red Cross issues tips to prevent illnesses like the enterovirus
From proper hand washing to eating a balanced diet, follow these tips to stay healthy

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[September 11, 2014]  CENTRAL ILLINOIS – The enterovirus D-68 is spreading quickly across many states causing concern among parents and health officials. Like other enteroviruses, the respiratory illness appears to spread through contact with infected people, which make children more susceptible. The American Red Cross is encouraging families to follow these tips to help prevent illnesses like the enterovirus.

As parents and teachers know, children have a way of picking up colds and other illnesses at school. Teach kids to adopt these healthy habits in order to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Avoid sharing objects such as utensils, cups, and bottles.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards. If tissue-less, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm, not into your hands.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.

Proper and consistent hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of flu. Teach kids by example by showing them proper hand washing technique:

  • Wet hands with water and apply an amount of soap recommended by the manufacturer to hands.
  • Rub hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces of the hands and giving added attention to fingernails and surfaces where jewelry is worn.
  • Rinse hands with water.
  • Dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
  • Use towel to turn off faucet.

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For younger children who tend to rush their hand washing, have them sing a short song such as "Row Row Row Your Boat," or the "Happy Birthday" song – this will ensure they wash for at least 20 seconds. Placing hand-washing reminders at children's eye level will also help them become consistent hand washers.

Always practice good health habits to maintain your body’s resistance to infection.

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Manage stress.
  • Get enough rest and sleep.

For more Red Cross preparedness and prevention information, please visit


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