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Flu Season Preparedness: How to Keep Your Family Healthy

There are many great things about fall: cooler weather after a hot summer, wearing sweaters, Halloween, changing leaves, and everything that tastes like pumpkin. That being said, some people don’t like fall because it means flu season is coming.

It may seem like your children are always getting sick this time of year, especially if you have little ones. We’re now in the “respiratory season,” which lasts from December to May and is a continuation of fall.

When one or more children are sick at home and can’t go to school or child care in Olney, MD, it can be stressful and even exhausting for working parents. During cold and flu season, it’s very important to think about what you can do to keep your kids healthy.

Stay Updated on Vaccines

Everyone should get a flu shot every year to stay healthy during flu season. As long as you are over 6 months old and your doctor says it’s safe, the CDC says that everyone should get a flu shot. The vaccine will help your body fight off the virus, and antibodies will start to form about two weeks after the shot. You should get your shot before the flu season actually starts, not when other people around you start getting sick.

Regularly Wash Your Hands

If you want to keep your family healthy during flu season, washing your hands is even more important than usual. It’s important to wash your hands often, especially if you’ve been around sick or possibly sick people. Kids are not very good at remembering to wash their hands. For this reason, an Olney child care center incorporates hand washing into their daily schedule.

Scrub hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds for it to work best. There’s a good way to make sure you wash for long enough: sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Don’t forget to rub it on the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. How hot or cold the water is is not as important as scrubbing, which literally gets rid of germs.

Little Girl is washing her hands to prevent virus and germs

Keep Everyone Hydrated

Staying hydrated is good for your health in general, but it can be especially important when you have the flu or a cold. Your body can flush out bugs and viruses better when you’re well-hydrated, which can help you stay healthy. School age programs in Olney, MD, offer scheduled snack times and remind kids to drink water throughout the day in an effort to keep them hydrated.

Besides keeping you from getting sick, staying hydrated can also give you more energy, make you feel better, and help your skin and hair stay healthy. To keep your body hydrated, you need to drink a lot of water and other liquids during the day. Adults should drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day and more if they work out or are in a hot or muggy place for a long time. It’s also a good idea to stay away from sugary drinks and coffee, which can make you lose water. Staying hydrated is a good way to keep your body fit and working right.

Sanitize Surfaces

Hard surfaces are typically better for viruses and other microorganisms to survive on than soft ones, such as toys and clothing. Wipe down counters, trays, electronics, toys, thermometers, and other hard-surfaced things frequently with a germ-killing cleanser or sanitizer. Although soft toys and clothing can also be washed as a precaution after coming into contact with a sick individual, hard surfaces are more frequently linked to the transfer of viruses.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose

If you or your child is already sick, cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough with a tissue to stop the illness from getting to those nearby. Sneeze and cough spray can travel quite a distance in multiple directions, polluting objects and coming into contact with human contact. Try to always use a tissue, but if you do end up sneezing into your elbow or hand (as many people advise), cleanse the area right away.

Young girl blowing nose into tissue

Healthy Diet and Regular Exercise

A healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial for general health and well-being, and they can be particularly crucial during the cold and flu season. Consuming a diet high in veggies, fruit, and other nutrient-dense foods will give your body the nourishment it needs to support a strong immune system and perform as intended.

Regular exercise is just as vital as maintaining a healthy diet. Engaging in physical activity helps strengthen your immune system by producing more white blood cells and antibodies, which aid in the defense against infections. In addition to improving your general physical and emotional well-being, exercise can lower your chance of developing chronic illnesses.

Avoid Touching Your Face

It is important to practice proper hand hygiene since this will help prevent a wide variety of illnesses; however, in addition to washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. These areas of your face are frequent entry routes for germs that, if not properly cleaned, can make you sick.

Limit Close Contact with Others

Not coming into close touch with people who are sick or showing flu symptoms is one way to stay healthy during flu season. It’s very important to do this if you are taking care of a sick child or other family member. If you touch something dirty after being near someone who is sick, you should wash your hands and any other places they touched.

Final Thoughts

These easy tips will help you and your family stay healthy during cold and flu season, but so will staying home when sick. One important way to help stop the spread of illness is to stay home when you’re sick. Whenever you’re sick, your body works very hard to get rid of the infection and heal itself. When you stay home or keep your kids home from child care in Olney, MD, you can rest your body, which will help it get better faster.

Staying home when you’re sick can also help stop the sickness from spreading to other people, especially kids, the elderly, and people whose immune systems aren’t working as well. It’s best to stay away from other people as much as possible when you’re sick to help stop the spread of sickness.

sick child during the flu season

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