Sneaky Health Hazards on Campus
Just because spring is around the corner, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear when it comes to getting sick. Here, we’ll talk about some smart strategies to keep in mind the next time you, say, mindlessly walk barefoot through that locker room.
Flu ... Ew
With an epidemic outbreak of H1N1 last winter and the current onset of seasonal flu, avoiding a serious case of fevers and chills really isn’t difficult if you remember some easy steps. Sure, you’ve heard the typical “wash your hands” and “get enough sleep” mantras, but here are some other ways to stay healthy:
Regularly sanitize your gear
Students spend such a large portion of time using tech gadgets -- both personal and shared -- that regularly sanitizing keyboards, cell phones, computer mice, etc., can help you avoid contracting the flu. For those living in dorms, it’s common for roommates and friends to borrow your technology -- so just because it’s yours, it doesn’t mean it’s, well, virus-free.
Keep toothbrushes at a safe distance
The American Dental Association recommends changing toothbrushes every three months to avoid viruses and bacteria. To avoid catching the flu from your roommates, store your toothbrushes at a distance from one another. To further avoid toothbrush contamination between three-month increments, stick the bristles in a glass (half water and half hydrogen peroxide), stir the toothbrush around for a few minutes to rid it of threatening germs, and then store it with the bristles facing upward to stop bacteria from multiplying between brushing.
Put out that cig
Aside from cancers, emphysema, yellow teeth and myriad other health consequences caused by smoking, here is yet another reason to squash that habit: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smokers are more likely than non-smokers to contract influenza because it reduces resistance to infection. So stop lighting up ... and stop taking drags from friends.
Don’t Laugh at Staph
Many people think staph infections are isolated to hospital settings, but a relatively new strain of community-acquired staph is being found on campuses. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is an antibiotic-resistant form of staph that occurs when bacteria gets under the skin. And when an abrasion or dry skin causes the skin to crack, an infection that resembles a pimple, boil or rash arises. With these easy health tips, you can steer clear of an ugly run-in with a staph infection:
Wash your hands
Sure, you’re accustomed to washing your hands to avoid the common cold and even the flu, but washing hands regularly also helps ward off staph-related bacteria, which can live on surfaces for hours. Even the sneakiest of places (ahem ... dirty clothes from your dorm’s laundry facility) can spur an outbreak, which means cleansing throughout the day can save you from a nasty, unwanted infection.
Whether we’re shaving our legs or ’staches, we’ve all had the occasional razor-nick. Shaving is one of the more risky daily grooming activities that puts students at risk of staph-related infection. From knees to chins, any area where the skin breaks from razor contact creates an open wound that bacteria can creep into, causing illness.
Sanitize exercise equipment
As mentioned, staph-related bacteria can live on surfaces for hours. When using your university’s gym facilities, it’s important to sanitize the equipment both before and after use. Before running on a treadmill or picking up free weights, use the gym’s antibacterial cloths to wipe down areas you will come in contact with. Locker rooms and gyms are especially susceptible to housing bacteria, so ensure your health and the health of your peers by sanitizing whenever possible. If your gym offers free towel use, make sure the towel is clean, or play it safe and bring your own. And walking through the locker room? Let’s just say flip-flops are a must!
Steer Clear of STIs
Sexually transmitted infections are becoming more present on campuses. HPV is currently the most common of STIs, with 60 percent of college women slated to contract it within their four years of school, according to the CDC. Other common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes and syphilis. And with 45.5 percent of sexually active students having never been tested for STIs, it is of the utmost importance that students engaging in sexual activity take precaution.
Female birth control won’t do the trick
Even if you or your partner is on the pill or uses another form of female contraception, this will not prevent the contraction of any of the abovementioned infections. No matter how you slice it, aside from abstinence, male condoms are the most effective means through which sexually active students can avoid STIs.
Test before sex
Many STIs, like HPV and herpes, do not always present symptoms, which is why it’s crucial for both partners to get tested before engaging in sexual activity. The CDC recommends that women younger than 25 get tested for STIs once a year. Guys should also get tested regularly. If you are in a monogamous, committed relationship, both partners should get tested before engaging in sex without a condom.
Twenty million Americans are currently infected with HPV, which means students (both male and female) should take advantage of recently released HPV vaccinations that prevent multiple strains of the infection. Gardasil prevents women from four of the 30 strains of HPV. When combined with a condom, the vaccine drastically reduces a woman’s chances of contracting the infection. For guys, the FDA-approved Gardasil for males ages 9 through 26 helps reduce 90 percent of genital warts cases. Even those who are already sexually active and have been exposed to certain strains of HPV can benefit from Gardasil. So get on it!
Available on Amazon.com:
- How to Brand Yourself
- Sneaky Health Hazards on Campus
- How to Take Care of Your Sick Roommate Without Getting Ill
- Hidden Perks of Campus Living
- College-age Entrepreneurs
- The 411 on Credit Card Offers
- Get a Step Ahead of Flu Season
- Healthy Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Right Now
- 5 Tips to Avoid Depression in College
- Help -- I Hate My Major
- Salvage a Bad Start to the School Year
- Campus Suicides: Reality Check
- Productive Ways to Make the Most of Fall Break
- Smart Studying Abroad
- How to Prevent Sports Injuries
- The Great Recession's Toll on Higher Education
- Online Degrees: Learn More Before You Enroll
- Are Online College Courses All That?
- Online Education in the Ivy League
- Some Top International Colleges Offer Free Tuition
- Private Colleges Adopt Car Lot Strategy
- Law School: Rising Demand and Rising Tuition
- How to Eat Healthier at the College Dining Hall
- Recent Grads Reveal Their College Regrets
- Pimp My College Dorm Room!
- Should I Drop This Class?
- Got Homework Overload?
- College Loan Repayment List Reveals Surprises
- Getting into Law School: University of Miami School of Law
- An Evening with Arne Duncan
- The Power of Being Multilingual
- A Revolutionary New Way to Learn
- Frank Assessment of Teacher Performance Not Pleasant but Useful
- How Not to be a Fat Freshman
- Smart Spending and Saving for College Students
- Save Time and Money on School Lunches
- Stretch Your Back-to-school Shopping Dollars
- Education Dollars Well Spent: Liberal Arts Education
- Smart Money Looks Elsewhere: Liberal Arts Education
- Is College Worth It?: Soaring Costs Complicate the Decision
- Reaching College or University of Your Dreams is a Four-Year Process
- Getting into College: Start Sharpening Analytical Skills Early
- Best Value Colleges Give Big Scholarships & Deep Discounts
- The Great College Scholarship Scramble
- Out of State College Tuition at In-State Rates
- The Student Loan Without the Regret
- Campus Orientation Programs Aim to Ease Transition
- Rocketing Past the College Admissions Blunders
- The Right Way to Pitch Yourself to a College
- Narrowing Your College Choices
- Turning Two Years at Community College Into Four
- Different Paths to a College Degree
- Lure of the Gap Year Between High School and College
- Twitter Goes to College
- Standardized Tests Myths: The Truth About the SAT & ACT
- 5 Tips to Getting Along With Your Roommate
- Break That Hovering Habit Early
- Back-to-School Shoppers Hunt for Deals
- Green Your Back-to-School Shopping
- Houston Charter School Sends All its Grads to Four-Year Colleges
- Colleges Joining Effort to Turn Around Skyrocketing Obesity Rates
- College Student Resource Directory
- 5 Tips to Getting Along With Your Roommate
- How Do You Rank as a Roommate?
- New Sites Empower Students to Build Their Own Scholarships
- Why Physician Assistant School May be Right for You
- Getting Back to the College Mindset
- Teaching vs. Teachers Unions
- Girl World Back-to-school Checklist
- Just a Little Food for Thought
- Business Schools Add New Entrepreneur Programs for MBA Students
- Unique MBA Programs Build Leadership Skills
- Tips to Increase Your Odds of Getting a Job at College
- Get Career Goals in Gear This Summer
- Roommate Rifts and Resolutions
- How Changes to the GMAT Will Affect You
- Back to School Countdown
- Alternative Summer Plans for College Students
- Job Market Strategies for Recent Graduates
- Surviving Summer College Classes
- Avoid Getting Stupid This Summer
- 7 Tips for LSAT Test Success
- 6 Tips for GMAT Test Success
- 9 Tips for SAT Test Success
- 6 Tips for ACT Test Success
- Student-tested Tips to Ace Your Final Exams
- Taking The Edge Off Exam Stress
- 5 Social Media Tools for College Students
- 5 Do's and Don'ts for College Students Using Social Media
- Guide to Great Educational Websites for Kids
- Study Skills - Staying Motivated to Study
- Nail That Job Interview
- 10 Cool Gadget Gifts for Grads
- A Lean Mean Stay-fit Exercise Routine
- Smooth Moves to Make Studying More Comfortable
- Inside Scoop on Working in Study Groups
Copyright © 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.