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Photo Credit: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu Tips for Caregivers

When caring for people who have the flu:

  • Avoid being face to face with the sick person. If possible, it is best to spend the least amount of time in close contact with a sick person.

  • When holding sick children, place their chin on your shoulder so they will not cough in your face.

  • Wash your hands often and the right way. Sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times or count slowly to 20 as you wash.

  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Make sure to wash your hands after touching the sick person. Wash after handling their tissues or laundry.

Tips to prevent dehydration

Give plenty of liquids at the first sign of flu. Sick people with the flu need to drink extra fluids to keep from getting dehydrated. Mild fluid loss can most often be treated at home. Yet, severe dehydration is VERY serious and must be treated in the hospital.

  • If the sick person is not eating well, encourage them to drink liquids. Avoid alcohol or drinks with caffeine in them such as colas, tea, and coffee.

  • Older adults and people with kidney problems should check with their doctor about safe amounts of liquid to drink when sick.

  • Offer clear fluids such as water, broth, or sports drinks.

  • Use a squeeze bottle or a straw for people too weak to drink from a cup. Or offer ice chips or frozen ice pops to suck on.




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