It is the time of year that everyone dreads: Flu season. You may have heard on the news that the flu is beginning to present itself in your area or your child may have come home from school reporting that a number of children have been out sick with flu-related symptoms. This is the time to make sure that your home is stocked well with over the counter medications, food, toiletries and plenty of beverages so if anyone does get sick you are ready to handle the situation. There are also some tried and true tips that you can follow to prevent anyone from getting the flu in your home and what you should do if someone does come down with the flu in order to prevent it from spreading to everyone else like wildfire.
It may sound all too simple but washing hands goes a long way to preventing the flu. This is something you should have your children do when they walk in the door from school, especially if you have other little ones at home that they are going to want to hug and play with. Your child’s hands have touched everything from community pencils and crayons to bathroom door knobs, bus handles, etc. All it takes is one child with the flu to contaminate all of these surfaces. When your child comes along and touches them, they now have come into contact with the flu virus and can very easily become sick. If you are out running errands, be sure to wash your hands after using a public restroom, after you touch door handles and if you do something like fill up your gas tank or use a bank ATM. Keep sanitizer in your pocket for times when a sink and soap are not available and be sure to wash as soon as you return home.
Get Enough Rest
We’re all very busy with our hectic schedules but during flu season you want to make sure that everyone is getting adequate rest. If not, this lowers the immune system’s ability to fight off illness so you can be more susceptible to the flu and other illnesses. Adults should shoot for eight hours per night. Young children can use a couple more hours than that each night and make sure that the babies and toddlers of the house are getting their daytime nap as well.
Your body’s immune system relies on healthy fuel to keep going and to fight illness each day. The best fuel that you can get comes from foods like healthy fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Sugar can really bog down your immune system so try to abstain from those sweets and candies during flu season in order to boost your immunity power. Dairy has been known to increase inflammation in the body and can also increase your mucus production so you might want to limit your dairy intake as well.
Of course, if you want to really attempt to prevent the flu in your home, make sure that everyone who is eligible gets the flu shot early in the year when it first becomes available. This will ensure that you all get the shot before it runs out and your body will have plenty of time to build up immunity before your area starts to see flu cases. It can sometimes take your body up to thirty days to reach full immunity potential after receiving the flu shot so give your body the fighting chance that it needs this flu season so you and your family stay healthy.