Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
While the beginning of the cold and flu season has long passed, the end of the season isn’t quite here yet. In fact, the flu season usually lasts well through the winter season. Helping you and your family stay healthy during this long season may seem difficult, especially if the prevalence of the cold or flu is present in school and work settings—areas you can’t quite control. However, there are plenty of ways you can help your childrencontinue to stay healthy this cold and flu season:
Encourage Hand Washing
This is especially important for our little ones who may have not yet established a good hand washing habit! Cold and flu viruses are not airborne; they are transferred through direct contact with other objects or people. Therefore, it is important to encourage your child to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the restroom and before eating. For further protection, also encourage them to wash their hands after coming home from school or any other public place to prevent the spread of germs at home. Hand sanitizer is also a good substitute if a sink isn’t nearby or readily available.
Eat Healthy Foods
It’s very important to include more healthy foods such as fruits, and vegetables into you and your family’s meals during the cold and flu season. It’s also important that you maintain balanced meals. Fruits and vegetables can provide our bodies with plenty of other vitamins and nutrients that can help keep our immune systems strong.
Get the Proper Amount of Sleep
If your body doesn’t get enough sleep, your immune system can weaken and become more vulnerable to infections; your body is unable to produce enough white blood cells and antibodies to help fight off germs. Make sure you and your child get enough sleep every night to reduce your chances of catching the flu or cold.
Establish Good Coughing and Sneezing Habits
We’ve all seen it as teachers and parents: children who sneeze or cough into the air in front of them, the objects or work space they use, or worse yet—their hand! Discourage habits like these and teach them to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the crooks of their elbows. Even if your child does catch a cold, this will prevent the virus from spreading to other family members or other kids at school.
By practicing all of these, you and your child can significantly reduce your chances of catching the flu or cold, staying healthy well through the winter and cold and flu season!