10 Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy This Flu Season
While Autumn means crisp air, trips to apple orchards, and beautiful Fall foliage, it also means flu season is here. Flu season can always be troublesome for families, as we begin missing days of work and school due to the sickness that spreads like wildfire. One person in the family gets sick, and it can quickly turn into a cycle that feels never-ending. However, there are some things you can do to help keep you and your family healthy!
Wash hands frequently. This is huge. Your child is exposed to bacteria and viruses daily at daycare, school and at home. Whether it’s through a shared toy or a doorknob, exposure to viruses can happen quickly. The best defense is just using soap and warm water to disinfect hands after playing outside, before meals and snacks, after using the bathroom, and after petting animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 10-15 seconds of hand scrubbing during each hand wash.
Use hand sanitizer. When warm water and soap are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be another effective defense to keep hands germ free. Remember though, hand sanitizer can be dangerous if consumed, so keep it out of reach of children.
Get a flu shot. This is your best defense. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get an annual flu shot. Be sure to follow your pediatrician’s recommendation.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue. Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue. If a tissue isn’t available, use your elbow. Kids shouldn’t cough or sneeze into their hands as this only spreads germs more easily.
Teach young kids how to blow their noses. Encourage little ones to avoid putting their fingers in their noses and teach them to use a tissue as soon as they are old enough. It is also important to dispose of tissues immediately after each use.
Drink more water. It’s very important to stay hydrated during cold and flu season not only to prevent sickness, but to also help yourself recover quicker if you’re already sick.
Eat a healthy diet. Kids might not like fruits and vegetables, but they can help fight illness. Make sure to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to operate at 100%.
Get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that poor sleepers became sick more often. Make sure you child gets the recommended hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep isn’t just damaging to your immune system, it can also lead to poor choices.
Disinfect your house. Be sure you are disinfecting toys and household surfaces, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Getting rid of all the germs can make a big difference in the likeliness of you and your family getting sick.
Avoid people who are sick.
This seems obvious, but it might be necessary to “quarantine” household members who become sick to avoid spreading the illness to others in the house, especially young children. Also, make sure your child stays home from school if he or she is sick. Come see your local pharmacist and get your flu shot today.