I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune Specialty Care. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
The H1N1 flu virus caused a world-wide pandemic in 2009. Do you remember, there was a shortage of the flu vaccine? I remember it well. The media’s coverage of it really made me panic. We had to wait weeks for the flu shot clinic to be announced at the kids’ pediatrician’s office. Once we had a date and time, we waited for what seemed like hours in line at the clinic to register and then in the office waiting room to actually get the shots.
I’m glad those days are over, but I still worry about my kid’s getting the flu. Kids, like mine, with chronic health problems like asthma are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications. Every cold and flu season, I take extra precautions to keep the kids healthy and I get them their flu shots.
Tips for Staying Healthy During the Flu Season
Here are a few tips for staying healthy during the flu season.
- Wash hands with soap and water often and wash for at least 20 seconds. Use an an alcohol-based hand rub, when soap and water are not available.
- Drink plenty of fluids (8 ea. 8 oz. glasses of water per day) preferably plain water to maintain proper hydration not just when sick, but make this a health habit all the time.
- Maintain a healthy balanced diet with plenty of anti-oxidant and vitamin rich foods like whole-grain cereals, walnuts, furits and vegetables. Also, get those Omega 3 fatty acids in foods like salmon. According to Cindy Moore, a registered dietitian and director of nutrition therapy at the Cleveland Clinic, omega-3 fatty acids promote blood flow and the production of anti-inflammatory substances which also boost immune function. *Source
- Exercise often. Even moderate exercise, like walking, will help to improve lung and immune function.
- Get a good night’s sleep. A lack of a sleep may negatively effect the immune system. A full 7-8 hours of sleep will help to keep the body’s natural defenses functioning at optimal levels of efficiency.
In our house, I definitely encourage hand washing! I place anti-bacterial soap near the bathroom and kitchen sinks and urge my kids to wash their hands often. I also wipe kitchen counters and surfaces with disinfecting cleaning wipes. Doing these simple things seems to help minimize the spread of germs this time of year.
So far this cold and flu season, we have all been cold-free. Knock on wood! Both of my boys have gotten their flu shots this year. When they had their annual physical last month, their doctor recommended that they both have the flu shot (as she always does) because they both have asthma. Year after year, the boys get the shot and neither has ever had the flu!
A Parent’s Guide to Flu Season
Elizabeth Pantley’s ebooklet, “A Parent’s Guide to Flu Season” has helpful information for parents to refer to during the flu season. Did you know that more children go to the hospital because of flu complications than any other vaccine-preventable disease ?
This guide has a helpful chart that lists symptoms of the cold and flu to help parents determine whether their child has a cold or the flu. A lot of the symptoms like coughing, sneezing and a sore throat are the same for both the cold and the flu! However, the addition of vomiting are diarrhea are symptoms of the flu.
A flu shot is the single best protection against the flu. Contrary to what my husband thinks, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine! The ebooklet also contains a graphic of the various places where you can get a flu vaccine. In addition to hospitals, health care providers and pharmacies, local schools offer the flu shot too. (There was a message on our answering machine about a flu shot clinic at my son’s school just last week.)
There is a lot of great information in Elizabeth Pantley’s ebooklet and I hope you will check it out and pass along this handy guide. This infographic provides a nice visual for top tips for flu prevention.
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