It doesn’t have to be this way… there are good, proven strategies that we can use to help protect our children and families from dreaded cold and flu viruses. According to a recent report on WebMD there are some easy to follow tips to help prevent the spread and contraction of those pesky viruses:
- Wash those hands! If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times. Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds is a proven, effective way to kill germs. In a crunch, hand sanitizer will work also. I also find myself saying “keep your hands off of your face/ out of your mouth/nose and away from your eyes” at least once per day. Children’s hands do not remain clean very long, so remind them…. wash often, hands off face.
- Get your flu shot (or the nasal spray vaccine)! This goes for the entire family above 2 years of age. Although this will not guarantee that your child won’t get the flu, the CDC says it is about 65% effective. If the flu is still contracted after the shot, the symptoms should be much milder and last a shorter duration.
- Practice healthy habits! That’s right. What we should all be doing year round anyways will go extra far during cold and flu season. Eat right. Get plenty of quality sleep. Exercise every day.
In addition, research has been conducted and found that investing in a quality home humidifier can help fight the flu. “It seems that [the influenza virus’] ability to survive and be transmitted person-to-person is greatly affected by how dry or wet the air is,” says Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, of Oregon State University in Corvallis, whose study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The flu virus thrives in low moisture, dry environments, so by using a humidifier, you are able to control the indoor humidity level, thus reducing the potential spread of the virus.
Also, make sure you change your home’s HVAC air filters. By design, these filters are made to remove dust, mold, pollen, allergens and bacteria from the air. By removing these airborne particulates, you will be breathing cleaner, healthier air.
Fight back this year against cold and flu season. My Grandma always said, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” So, enjoy the holidays this year… with a healthy family!