As dorms fill up with new and returning students this fall there are many health concerns that students can be aware of. For many this will be the first experience that students have living with people outside of their immediate family. Plus students will also have the opportunity to come in contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis.
Dorm life can be fun. Living on your own in a college setting is filled with activities, socializing, dating, and living like an adult. With that living style comes many health issues that can be faced. Here are some practical tips that at first may seem annoying, but in the end may help keep your college life healthier in the long run.
Getting your annual flu shot should be a priority. Having one as soon as possible from your family physician even before you leave for school is prudent as the vaccine takes two weeks to go into full effect according to the Centers for Disease Control.
College clinics also offer flu shots should your institution have a program. Local clinics also offer reduced or even free flu shots if you didn’t get yours before school started. Check with your school officials as to where you can get a flu shot once you’re on campus.
Getting a flu shot is one way to prevent getting influenza. Other germs that can cause colds also run rampant on college campuses and taking steps to prevent the spread of disease is also important.
In your dorm room it is important to wash your hands constantly when you touch things that have germs on them from other people. Doorknobs, sinks, computers, windows, and thermostats are some of the many things that could be considered communal.
If you feel like you wash your hands too much with soap and water you may also consider sanitizing surfaces and your hands with germ killers. Anti-bacterial wipes can be found in many retailers for cleaning surfaces.
Having a bottle of liquid hand sanitizer on your desk is a good way to keep your hands germ-free. Even large bottles that last forever are only around ten dollars or less. Hand sanitizers are a good investment that will pay big dividends in your health during college.
Make sure you use separate towels and eating utensils if necessary. Having separate loads of laundry is also a way to limit the spread of germs. Even having separate cleaning supplies can also help.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t breathe in the room at all. Keeping things completely separate from your dorm mates will limit the spread of germs and ensure that you are the only one who touches your stuff.
Limit Physical Contact
Limiting your physical contact is a way to prevent getting sick by lessening your chances of catching a disease. This concept goes beyond just catching a cold or getting some respiratory infection. This also goes along with getting any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
When you do have sexual contact with another person you should take steps to protect yourself. Contraception, germicidal lotions, and limiting your sexual partners are all ways to help prevent the spread of STDs and keep yourself healthy during your stay in the college dorm.
The Centers for Disease Control list two main factors in preventing the spread of STDs. The first is to abstain from sexual contact altogether. The second is to be in a long-term relationship with an uninfected partner.
Chances are you will get sick during college. Taking several preventative measures in the dorms can help reduce your chances of getting sick and make your education and experience that much more enjoyable.
The Centers for Disease Control provided the information for this article.