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Thread: Sick Co-workers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Angry Sick Co-workers

    I have a 4 1/2 month old and work in a small office (8 people). People keep coming to work sick and in turn I take it home to my baby and we are both sick. My husband, daughter, and myself all 3 just got over a very serious upper respiratory infection that almost put my daughter in the hospital. I brought it home from work. I have asked that they not come to work sick but they still do.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated on how to handle this situation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Sick Co-workers

    Since there's no way you can stop your co-workers from coming in sick, aside from asking them, or talking to the boss, and asking the boss to reiterate that if you're sick, you shouldn't be at work, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

    Wash your hands after touching anything that has been touched by your co-workers - phones, keyboards, doorknobs, etc. Invest in a bottle of the antibacterial hand lotion, maybe. Get some of those wipes that are for cleaning (there are several brands available) and wash everything that's shared as often as you feel you need to.

    Make sure you are taking good care of yourself - healthy eating, lots of sleep, stay hydrated, so that your body is able to fight off infections.

    Keep anti-viral tissues available for your co-workers to use.

    Keep breastfeeding your baby, too. The antibodies you're producing will help your baby to not get as sick.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Sick Co-workers

    Handwashing is a major defense against microorganisms. Also try to keep your hand moisturized- the skin is a barrier to infection, and in the winter dry skin can lead to hang nails and cuts. Absolutely take care of yourself- sleep, eat, exercise, and keep nursing. Also, you may want to change clothes before you leave, or as soon as you get home- strip at the door, throw them in the basement, and wash up- then give your family those missed hugs and kisses!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Sick Co-workers

    I am sorry that people are coming to work sick and making you sick as a result. I am one who tends to get sick when people near me get just a sniffle, I'm a virus magnet. It's really discouraging, especially this time of year when it seems like we've hardly had a well week since November! There is an end to it, the cold and flu season should start to abate soon. Other posters have offered great information and suggestions.

    One final thing I would add that I have heard from health care professionals is to just REALLY train yourself to NOT touch your face, eyes, nose, ears, put hands in mouth, lick fingers after eating foods, etc. While it's true some viruses are airborne, most often they end up on our hands and then we introduce them to our bodies by rubbing our eyes, scratching our nose, licking the bbq sauce off our fingers, etc. Of course if our hands are always 100% clean and free of germs this isn't as much of an issue, but that's hard to achieve too. That hand sanitizer gel is definitely worth it - in particular I have seen reports stating that it has reduced the incidence of gastro-intestinal illnesses by as much as 60% in families. Not sure about anyone else, but I'd pay good money to avoid getting the stomach sickies when my 4 yr old brings something like that home from school!

    At any rate, I hope you guys are able to stay healthy the rest of the season.

    Best Wishes -
    Karen Smith
    LLL Leader, IL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Sick Co-workers

    I second (or third or fourth ) the handwashing. Years ago I worked at the library and came down with the worst case of flu I've ever had. (What do sick people do? Read books!) Afterwards, I made it a point to go wash my hands thoroughly with soap about every hour. Didn't get sick after that.

    Some other things.... I always carry my own pens (it's a joke around my house-- mom always has a pen). I don't catch other people's colds by using communal pens at stores, etc.

    I know moms who swear by a neti pot. It's like a small teapot that you fill with warm salt water. You put the spout against one nostril, turn your head (over a sink) and run the water through your sinuses. Feels a little weird at first, but it can flush viruses and pollens out of the places where they'll do the most harm. Maybe you could try this when you come home from work each day.

    Keeping yourself "strong" helps a lot-- enough rest (yeah, right-- working and caring for a baby too...I know ) Eating nutritious food, getting excercise and fresh air, maybe taking a multivitamin....whatever works for *you* to help you feel your best.

    And....keep breastfeeding! That's the best way to protect your baby.

    I hope the rest of the winter is healthy for you!


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