It’s flu season and this year it’s hitting harder than usual.  As music therapists, we are constantly aware of the battle between being exposed to germs, spreading them and staying healthy. So far, I’ve been winning the battle this year…. even after being exposed to the flu and other illnesses on multiple occasions.  So I thought I’d share the strategies I’ve been using.



1. The Communicator Surgical Mask.  Last year, I worked in a couple of “sick” classrooms. It seemed as if students or staff members were ill every week.  In my quest to find ways to stay healthy, I discovered a clear faced surgical mask designed by a nurse.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t on the market yet.  When this year rolled around, I vowed to be prepared.  I found the Communicator Surgical Mask online.  I emailed all of my teachers and asked them to inform me when I arrived to their rooms, if anyone was sick.  So far, it’s worked out wonderfully!  I will say, that it’s not exactly comfortable because of where it hits my eyes.  However, I’ve been in a number of classrooms with sick kids and haven’t caught anything!  On a personal note, my daughter opted to use these when she caught the flu…. preventing both my husband and I from catching it. 



2. Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes.  I first learned about these on music therapy Facebook groups and I love them!  They kill 99.9% of germs and because they are natural, they are safe to use with clients.  I use them to wipe down EVERTHING, from my guitar to rhythm instruments to my Ipad.



3. Wash your hands. This probably goes without saying, but hand washing is the first line of defense for many illnesses. I keep a bottle of Purell hooked to my purse and have a bottle in my car. If possible, I wash my hands after every session.  My hands used to crack so badly from dryness due to all the washing…. then I discovered Mary Kay Night Emollient Cream.  It’s for your face, but honestly, it’s the only thing that’s ever worked for me in keeping my hands from drying out.  Here’s a link to the product from my Mary Kay consultant and fellow music therapist, Amanda Duffy: Mary Kay.  


4. Wash movement props.  Scarves, streamers, stretchy band, the Octaband, etc.  Scarves and streamers are enticingly delicious to my students.  Perhaps it’s their texture or color, but not a day goes by that someone doesn’t put one in their mouths.  Also, since germs are spread through sneezing, coughing and saliva, best to wash cloth props often! 


5. Get the flu shot.  According to doctors, it’s not too late.  I understand that some people are adverse to getting the flu shot.  I’ve heard people complain a number of times about becoming sick after getting the flu shot.  According to the medical community, that’s not possible because the strains used are inactive.  However, as someone whose also gotten ill once right after getting a flu shot, I can understand other’s concerns.  That being said, I get one every year.  The flu shot can be a great preventative in protecting you against the flu.


Best of luck in keeping healthy this flu season!  I hope I didn’t jinx myself… LOL!


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