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.
Many of us dread this time of year. No, not because we have to travel to attend family get-togethers, brave snow and ice, break our budget buying gifts for the holidays or (gasp!) enjoy a formal dinner with family or extended family. What we fear the most is that dreaded f-word: flu. Just saying the word makes me want to pull a cover up over my head. However, the potential for me to contract the flu is fairly high, so I am constantly going through the motions of prevention.
What are the best ways to prevent yourself and your family from getting the flu?
Contracting the flu can be debilitating for any adult, but it tends to be 10 times as debilitating for babies, toddlers and the elderly. I personally don’t feel comfortable with the flu shot, but I certainly don’t fault others for the choice. We all have a decision to make and that’s mine. I rarely get the full-blown flu, but I do get a minor bout of it about every 2-3 years. I’ve had two years of luck, so I’m trying to take every precaution I can to keep that streak going.
Here are the things that I regularly do to help increase the chances of my family and I not contracting the flu:
- Eat healthy – cranberries, blueberries, lots of other fresh fruits and vegetables are included in our diet anyway, but I ramp it up during flu season to make sure my body is prepared. We also take vitamin C every day.
- Exercise – the cooler months tend to effect exercise routines, but that’s when I try to find ways to stay active inside.
- Cleaning – I am constantly wiping everything down during this time of year. I have a four-year-old that’s in preschool and he is getting very familiar with mommy’s fall and winter routine. The doorknobs, phones, keyboards, tables and counters are cleaned frequently – several times daily when there’s a runny nose in the house – with either Clorox or Lysol wipes.
- Dining out – we do this very rarely because other people get sick and can’t afford to be off work. Did you know that most restaurants don’t offer sick pay? The ones that do very seldom offer it to part-time employees, which are often more prevalent on the evening shift. Something to think about.
- More cleaning – the vents are thoroughly vacuumed and we dust a lot more frequently during the cool fall and winter months to keep the dust levels at a minimum.
- Teaching – My son is just starting to understand why he can’t hold hands with his school friends. Sure, it’s cute, but it’s also one of the quickest ways to spread germs. Think about it. Where do most kids wipe their noses if there’s not a tissue being waved in their face? Yeah. Your kids bring it home. My son already knows that the first thing he has to do when he comes home from school is wash his hands. Mommy is a hand-washing nazi.
Need more advice or a little more information on the flu and what you can do to prevent it? Elizabeth Pantley’s ebooklet, “A Parent’s Guide to Flu Season” is currently available for free. Check it out! It’s got a great deal of information on the flu, who it affects and how, what the signs and symptoms are and how you can help to prevent it. I particularly like how she explains the correlation between flu season and the school season because more parents need to realize this so that they can educate their little ones.
Here’s a great infographic as well: