The flu is back in town! 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. Let me tell you, this exhausted mom is not a fan of anyone missing days from school or work!
Typically, the cold and flu season will last from August until March. Children, as early as six months through their teenage years, are recommended to have a flu vaccination. I’m not a huge fan of getting the flu vaccine. I’m a believer in helping my body build its own immune system. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to fight the common cold with simple tips for your kids to keep them healthy and free of the flu.
What Are the Symptoms?
- Runny nose, sinus pressure & sneezing
- Chills, fever & fatigue
- Cough, congestion & sore throat
- Body ache, headache & chest discomfort
- Watery eyes, redness & itchiness
Tips to Avoid the Flu:
Wash & Disinfect:
So this one is a no-brainer. WASH YOUR HANDS! One of the easiest ways to catch a cold is through direct contact with those who are already sick. Schoolbooks, desks, and computer mouses contain the most germs in schools. Having your child keep a pocket-sized hand sanitizer is a great way for them to quickly disinfect after touching germ-infested areas at school. There can be up to ten million germs on each hand! YUCK! Remind them to use warm water while washing because it works to remove the oils from your hands that hold bacteria. Cold water isn’t as effective in that way. Washing your hands before and after meals, and especially after using the restroom, is the most efficient way to keep the germs away.
The right amount of exercise is always good for the body. How much is the right amount? Children usually need at least an hour of playtime and activity a day, and this can be achieved at recess or after-school sports. But, if your child is already sick, more exercise than usual to flush out the toxins through sweat won’t do much good for them. It’s important to maintain a schedule of physical activity, but cutting back when they are sick will help them to avoid high levels of fatigue and chills, which will only make them feel worse. Helping your child maintain a consistent daily exercise routine is a great way to keep the common cold away.
Help your kids maintain a healthy diet with plenty of immune-boosting foods. Protein-rich foods, colorful fruits and veggies, soup, and tea are a few recommended dietary supplements during the flu season. Having a low protein intake depletes the immune system. Some convenient proteins are eggs, yogurt, and cheese sticks, on top of Mediterranean-foods like fish and red meat. Green tea, especially with lemon and honey, is great for clearing your nasals of mucus and congestion. Oranges, blueberries, peppers & green beans can help add a variety of color to your fruits and vegetables, and the more color in the food, the more immune-boosting power it has. Additionally, drinking plenty of water every day can help flush out toxins in your body that cause the common cold.
Of course, the flu vaccine is another way to protect against the flu this season. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body, which provides protection against bacteria and infection. Doctors keep medical records to enhance their ability to help at-risk populations, especially children, stay up-to-date with seasonal and annual immunizations. There are a variety of vaccine options, so if you are curious or unsure about which is right for your kids, ask your doctor or other health care professional.
What are your go-to ways for keeping your kids healthy during flu season?