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.
As if the back to school cooties weren’t enough, now were’ entering the thick of flu season. Flu “season” is typically October to May, but that doesn’t mean you should take precautions all year round. After all, there are some pretty simple ways to help lessen you and your children’s chances of getting the flu.
I had the flu a few years ago. It was awful. I was sick as a dog. And you know what? When it started I thought i just had a cold since the beginning symptoms were so similar. Boy was I wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG. Ugh! Now, with three kids and my husband having RA, anything to prevent the flu in our house is super important.
Many health officials recommend the following three flu prevention tips:
A. Annual Vaccine:
It’s recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu vaccine as soon as it’s available. This is because our bodies don’t necessarily have the right antibodies to fight off the flu since the virus is always changing. Getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you won’t get the flu, but it will lessen your chances or mean you don’t get as sick if you DO get it. That means less missed days of work or school. Talk to your health care provider about getting the flu vaccine.
B. Be Healthy Handed:
Think about how many times a day your hands are exposed to germs? Taking off and on your shoes, petting the neighbors dog, holding the escalator in the mall (GROOOOOOSSSS). Frequent hand washing is important, and so is making sure you are washing your hands long enough – sing the alphabet song – TWICE! And use soap! Dry with a clean towel or air dryer. If you can’t wash your hands, I like to use a baby wipe followed up by hand sanitizer.
C. Capture the Germs
The BEST thing to teach kids is to keep tissues in their pockets and sneeze into that, then throw it away immediately and wash their hands following. If they can’t wash their hands, then use hand sanitizer. But the next best thing is sneezing into your elbow. Just make sure you wash the shirt as soon as you can because know you have a germ ridden sleeve! Yuck!
It’s important to know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. According to the CDC:
• Cleaning removes germs and dirt with soap or detergent. It does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them reduces the risk of spreading infection.
• Disinfecting kills germs by using chemicals designed for that job. It doesn’t
necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing them it can further
lower the risk of spreading infection.
One of the challenges is that you’re contagious before you show symptoms. BUT if you’re sick, STAY HOME. No school, no church, no shopping malls. Do your part and do what you can to keep germs from spreading.
You can check out the helpful infographic below and download Elizabeth Pantley’s ebooklet, “A Parent’s Guide to Flu Season” too.