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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Preparing for Flu Season

By Dr. Laundry October 17, 2006

Autumn is here; a season of cooler weather and falling leaves (some parts of the country more than others, of course). In fact, I was up in Lake Tahoe last weekend and even encountered the first snow of the season!

As we are all acutely aware, autumn is unfortunately also the start of flu season, and so I wanted to touch on a few things Clorox is doing this year to help ward off these cold and flu viruses. We’ve partnered with Families Fighting Flu, an organization made up of families who have lost a loved one to the flu, and the Visiting Nurse Association to launch a national campaign to raise awareness about giving flu vaccinations to children under 5. Getting vaccinated isn’t just for kids though, I’m going to get my flu shot next week. Even Dr. Laundry has to be wary of this nasty flu bug!

The flu is an easy-to-spread viral infection with symptoms including high fever, chills, cough, aches, and fatigue. Simply coughing or sneezing can spread the flu virus. For most, the flu is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but for some, it’s worse than that. Unfortunately, it took a horrific tragedy to bring attention to the seriousness of the flu virus. Richard Kanowitz, the founder of Families Fighting Flu, experienced this first-hand: In 2004, his four-year-old daughter Amanda died suddenly from complications due to the flu. He started the organization to fight back against this virus and hopefully prevent any further tragedies.

Throughout October and November, the Visiting Nurse Association will be administering flu vaccines and distributing prevention tips to children and their parents during Say “Boo!” to the Flu events across the nation. Please look for and take advantage of this great program.

Flu season doesn’t have much to do with laundry, but since this is such a great cause – I wanted to make sure you all heard about it. Here are a few tips you can use this season to stay healthy, and check out www.sayboototheflu.com for more information:


  • Sing & Scrub: Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, the same amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

  • Do the Elbow Cough: Teach your kids to cough into their elbows, not their hands where they are much more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.

  • Disinfect Hot Spots: In a mere 30 minutes, people can touch up to 300 different surfaces. From doorknobs and light switches, to faucets and toys, be sure to clean these frequently touched “hot spots” with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to kill flu viruses.

  • Follow Good Health Guidelines: Throughout this flu season, be sure to eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep to boost your body’s immune system and its ability to ward off the effects of the flu.