During the fall semester, flu season begins and lots of students get sick and end up missing a few days of school. For those in pre-AP and AP classes, that can be really hard to recover from. So how does one go about preventing sickness?

As most people know, washing your hands frequently is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs – if you cough, wash your hands. Sneeze? Wash your hands. Keep hand sanitizer or wipes in your backpack for when you can’t get to a sink.

Our Timber Creek High School school nurse, Loriann Simpson, agrees.

“The biggest thing, really, is washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. That, and getting your flu shot,” Simpson said.

Additionally, don’t share food or drinks with anyone, even if you’re sure they aren’t sick.

But catching a virus from someone else isn’t the only way you can get sick. Stressing yourself out and failing to get enough sleep can weaken your immune system and eventually lead to sickness. If you want to avoid this, be careful with how you use your time. Don’t put homework off until the last minute so that you get panicked and have to stay up all night. As much as you might not want to, try to complete all your schoolwork right when you get home – that way it’s not piling up and you have the rest of the night to relax and do whatever you want.

Eating certain foods can help you stay healthy, too. It only makes sense that you’re more likely to get sick if all you’ve eaten for the past month is junk food, so try to eat foods high in protein (meat, eggs, beans, etc.) and vitamin c (fruit, juice, vegetables, etc.) to boost your immune system.

If you happen to get sick anyway, don’t panic, just stay home. Simpson emphasized this, saying students will try to take Tylenol and push through, but they’ll ultimately end up getting others sick. If you are home sick, e-mail your teachers asking them to send you what you’ve missed. If you can, try to keep up with what you’re missing while you’re still absent from school so you don’t have to worry about double the assignments when you go back to class. And, most importantly, take the time you’re missing to actually rest. If you don’t, you could end up getting sick again, and missing even more school than you need to.

Stay healthy, Timber Creek.

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By Maddie Anderson

Maddie Anderson is a student reporter and photo editor for the Timber Creek Talon. She is also a member of the Timber Creek Band and plays the flute/piccolo.