Every parent knows that from September to June your household transforms into a walking petri dish that eventually becomes laden with snotty tissues and cough syrup. This leaves it up to you to nurse your family back to health -- but not without also falling sick yourself. It's the cold, hard truth of flu season and there's nothing you can do.
Or is there?
The truth is there are several ways you can, at the very least, help to protect against illness, regardless of your choice to vaccinate, and according to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention these key steps are incredibly simple! For more insight on the influenza virus, we welcome you to check out the CDC site.
1. Avoid close contact
We don't want to sound heartless, but if you come across friends or family members who are suffering from flu symptoms, its a good idea to keep your distance and encourage your children to do the same.
This may mean taking a recess from goodnight hugs and kisses, or from sharing snacks at school, but direct contact is a surefire way to pickup bacteria on skin, clothing and surfaces that lay waiting for their next host.
2. Clean hands
This prevention tip may seem the most evident, but it's often one of the bigger struggles when it comes to your little ones. According to the CDC, you should ensure children wet their hands, then lather thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds before rinsing.
In order to hold their attention, try making hand washing fun by singing or rhyming. The ever popular 'Happy Birthday' song is the perfect length for younger kids. However, if your child has more refined music tastes, feel free to experiment with their favorite tunes to hold their interest. Dance moves are also encouraged!
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
For children, who are natural germ magnets and seem to do nothing but touch things, this may be difficult. But avoiding touching the face all together will reduce any chances of bacteria entering through open cavities such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.
The best way to prevent this is to educate your children on why they shouldn't touch their face. Explain the different types of germs and bugs that live on skins surface, and how those can move easily from their hands to parts of their face. T
4. Cover mouth and nose
While this may seem contradictory to the previous step, it is always recommended to cover the mouth and nose when sneezing/coughing AND when around someone who is doing so. This prevents the potential ingestion and spread of bacterias that cause the flu virus.
Turning this into a game will support your child, and help remind them to do so. Try showing them how to cover their face while you take turns pretending to sneeze.
And don't forget to follow-up with a thorough hand washing!
5. Stay Active
Regardless of flu season, staying active can help fend off a variety of illnesses and keep the body operating at full capacity. Help your child to stay active, inside and out, playing different games or sports.
6. Get Enough Rest
When children don't get enough sleep, their body's immune systems are more easily compromised. It is important that they are receiving the recommended amount of daily rest each night to prevent this from happening.
If for some reason your schedule or daily activities have not allowed for a full nights rest, be more cognizant of the impact. While they won't be able to reclaim those hours, it may help to encourage your child to take a nap.
7. Stay home sick
If you've done all that you can, and somehow you or your child still fall victim to influenza, then do yourself a huge favor, and commit to a sick day. Whether it's for them or for you, taking a break from work and school or other stressors can help to get better faster. Not to mention it prevents other children or co-workers from contracting and spreading the flu further.
Like us @SolvesStrips and let us know what your tips and tricks are for staying flu-free this season. Here's to a healthy and happy 2016!
Questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you. Contact the Solves Service Team
Disclaimer: Solves Strips® website, blog and social media sites contain articles on many medical topics; however, no warranty whatsoever is made that any of the articles are accurate. Solves Strips® is not a doctor, the medical information provided is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional.