Each time your child is near someone who is sick or touches something a sick person also touched recently, they put themselves at higher risk of catching the flu, but don’t despair. There are 5 easy ways to avoid catching the flu this season!
Get The Flu Shot
There are still people who think the shot won’t help them avoid the flu. That ill-advised thinking should be a thing of the past, but it isn’t. The flu shot releases antibodies to protect your child from catching the flu. It doesn’t mean they won’t contract some other strain of flu, but it will aid in keeping the symptoms mild.
The CDC recommends high risk persons like pregnant women, young children, and seniors over age 65 should get their shot as soon as possible starting at the end of October.
Avoid Crowded Areas
This sounds a bit impossible, and it may be, but you can still avoid getting too close to sick people. School is one of the most likely places for your child to pick up the flu from a classmate, or even from one of the faculty members.
The trick here is to stay at least three feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. The virus can pass to anyone in droplets as a spray of germs when a sick person sneezes and coughs, making the mouth and nose easy targets.
Do they really have the flu? It can be hard to tell if it’s allergies or just a tickle in their throat, but best practice is to back off…politely, of course.
Teach Them to Always Wash Their Hands
There are numerous surfaces that your kid touches during the day, many of which can contain flu germs. Bathroom doors coming and going, phones, and kitchen utensils and cups are just a few heavily shared items on the list.
Encourage your children to wash their hands with soap and water for several minutes each time they touch any surface a sick person may have touched. It is also a great idea for kids to carry a hand sanitizer with them for those times when a sink or soap may not be available.
Concentrate on Other Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Keep yourself and your family as healthy as possible during flu season. Eat well and strive for a balanced, nutritious diet.
Get enough sleep. On average, 7 to 9 hours is recommended for adults to maintain a healthy immune system to fight off illness, and children should be sleeping even more than this!
Regular exercise is another tip that is good for the soul and your health. Not only will exercise help to keep the flu at bay, but it is also key in warding off other common health conditions.
Take any anti-viral medication that your doctor recommends should you or your little ones begin to come down with the flu, and stay home to recover.
Practice What You Preach
Try your best to model good, healthy behaviors in front of your children at home.
If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. If you use a tissue, be sure to discard it immediately. Wipe down surfaces in your home daily to prevent the spread of germs, for example, refrigerator door handles, light switches, shared landline phones, and any other surface multiple members of your family will touch.
Avoid touching common surfaces like mass transit railings, table tops in restaurants, sporting equipment, and most importantly your own mouth, nose, and eyes.
There is no guarantee that anybody will always be able to resist the flu or its symptoms, but practice these easy ways to drastically increase your child’s odds of avoiding the flu.