How to avoid getting sick this holiday season

You don't have to skip the holiday parties, even though the flu is circulating. Just follow these simple tips to stay healthy

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    Avoid Handshakes

    Potential problems start with "hello." If you are at a party and you've just met someone new - or see a long-lost friend/relative - refrain from shaking hands this holiday season. Shaking hands is a great way to pass germs around. 
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    Wash Your Hands

    If you do decide to shake someone's hand, wash your hands immediately after. In fact, wash your hands all the time. Every time you touch something, wash your hands. Picking up discarded napkins, or used glasses? Wash your hands. We can't say it enough: washing away germs is the best mode of defense. 
    AP
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    Put Hand Sanitizer Everywhere

    If you are traveling to a holiday gathering, hand sanitizer should be the first thing you pack. If you are hosting a holiday gathering, place small bottles of hand sanitizer around the room. It'll give guests the hint that you are serious about keeping germs at bay. 
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    Keep House Clean

    Of course, you are likely to have your house sparkling clean when the guests arrive. But try to keep on top of the cleaning even as the guests are there, and certainly tackle the cleaning as soon as they leave. Use bleach to wipe down your countertops and clean any surfaces that kids may have had their fingers on. 
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    No Mistletoe

    Avoid using mistletoe as decoration this year. A kiss on the lips is an excellent way for viruses to travel for one person to another. 
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    Snack Right

    Don't place chips, nuts or candies into large bowls where multiple hands can reach in. Instead, place these snack foods in individual dishes or bowls, so that each guest has their own. 
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    Serve Individual Plates

    Serve individual plates of food instead of having a buffet or finger foods.
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    Individual Drinks

    Serve individual drinks. Punch bowls are large surface areas, where germs can breed. Also, dipping your used glass into a punch bowl is just gross. Also, consider ways for your guests to keep track of which glass is theirs, so they don't accidentally drink out of someone else's. Party stores often sell wine charms or colored bands. 
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    Sick? Stay Home

    If you are sick - think coughing, fever - stay home!
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