Staying Healthy in the Dorms

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April 18th, 2009

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For many students, living in the dorms will be the first time they’ll be sharing space with so many other people and being exposed to so many potential health hazards. It is possible to stay healthy while living in the dorms, however, if you know how to protect yourself. Here are some ways you can make your living space a healthy one, even when it’s cold and flu season.

Your Bedroom Whether you share your room with one or two other people, you’ll want to make sure to keep things relatively clean to keep them healthy. Food and other waste left around the room is a nesting place for bacteria, dusts and some pests that can make you pretty sick. If you’ve got a sick roomie, keep some hand sanitizer within reach and try to avoid contact as much as possible, studying and hanging out in other spaces when you can.

Communal Bathrooms Shared bathroom spaces can be gross if you live with some messy people in your dorms. If you’re responsible for cleaning your own space, try to take care of it at least once a week so germs don’t have a chance to breed. If you have a shared bathroom for your hall, always remember to wear flip flops in the shower to protect from fungii that thrive on the wet bathroom floors. Because it is a shared space, wash your hands as much as possible to avoid picking up any colds or flus others might have.

CafeteriaThe mouth is one place where germs can get easy access into our bodies so it’s important to make sure you wash your hands before eating, especially if you’ve been somewhere where others might have been ill. Avoid foods that don’t look right to you and wash or at least wipe off produce before you eat them to keep food poisoning at bay.

Shared Spaces Dorm life requires a lot of shared spaces. Outside of bedrooms and bathrooms you might also share lounges and study rooms. If you’re worried about getting sick, wipe down shared equipment before you use it or keep hand sanitizer nearby. If others on your floor are sick, keep contact with them short but sweet– you can hang out later when they’re feeling better.

College students aren’t always great at taking care of their health, but it’s an essential part of being able to keep up with your studies and being an independent adult. Use these tips to help you take proactive measures that can improve your health year round in the dorms.

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