Fall and winter mean pumpkin pie, trick or treating, Thanksgiving, and snow days! But although the colder weather promises lots of fun things, the inevitable flu monster is guaranteed to rear its ugly head. This doesn’t mean you need to keep your children in isolation for fear of getting sick, however. There are a variety of flu prevention tips for kids and parents that will help everyone get through another season of coughing and sneezing this year.
Keep Germs at Bay
The most common way viruses are transferred is from the hand to the nose or mouth, where they can enter your body and make you sick. The worst part is that they can make you contagious before you even show any symptoms! This is why it’s important to keep hands clean. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make sure everyone washes their hands for at least 20 seconds, getting them nice and sudsy with warm water and soap. The friction created from hand washing is what will get rid of those nasty germs. Using hand lotion after washing will help to keep hands from drying out.
Teach your children to cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough with the inside of their elbow or armpit rather than their hands. This will keep germs from spreading to hands, the air, and inevitably to others.
Keep a little bottle of hand sanitizer with you. If a sink isn’t around, this will be handy in case you need a quick solution to keep germs from spreading.
Consider getting a flu vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the most effective way to prevent the flu. Getting an annual shot will protect against the most prevalent strains of the flu for that year and help keep everyone healthy year after year.
Keep the Immune System Strong
Good hygiene and getting a flu shot are certainly effective, but boosting immune systems with healthy habits will help keep colds and the flu away all year long. With some very basic habits, you and your family will remain healthy and be ready in case that nasty flu virus comes knocking!
Maintaining healthy eating habits is a sure fire way to ensure your body is well equipped to handle anything that comes your way. Make sure you’re feeding your children plenty of fruits and veggies that have immune-boosting power such as tomatoes, blueberries, or spinach.
Vitamin D is also recommended to help children boost their immune systems, which can be found in milk, eggs, yogurt, and other dairy products. If your children are picky eaters, a multivitamin can provide several essential nutrients that your kids need.
Regular exercise is beneficial for your overall health, and it also helps in preventing colds and the flu! Staying active keeps your stress levels down and your energy levels up, which is vital during cold and flu season.
There are even further benefits if you exercise outside. Exposure to sunlight is another effective way to get Vitamin D, and it helps prevent the potential for seasonal depression. (Remember, however, that even on cloudy days it is important to protect your skin from the sun.)
Being sleep deprived is one of the worst things you can do for your health. It can limit the body’s ability to fight off diseases and increase stress levels, which is a terrible combination. Be sure everyone in your home is getting plenty of sleep, especially during those colder months.
Don’t let the impending fall and winter weather get you down! With these flu prevention tips, your whole family will be well equipped to enjoy the colder weather without the fear of getting sick.
Contact the experts at Grow Pediatrics for more information on how to keep your family healthy all year long.