According to the latest medical news, this year’s flu season has been one of the toughest on record. Children are more likely to get sick from the flu virus than adults. They can become exposed in environments such as a classroom or daycare where sharing germs is more likely than not. It is extremely important that parents make sure that their children are well protected this season.
Below are five ways to make sure that you are helping your child fight the flu!
1. Get this season’s flu vaccine.
While the vaccine cannot completely guarantee that you and/or your child will not get the flu, it is about 62% effective in preventing it., it can shorten the length of the illness and help make symptoms milder should you or your child get sick. Make sure that everyone in the family age six moths and older gets an annual flu vaccine. However, as always, check first with your medical professional before getting the vaccine. Some individuals are allergic to certain components of the vaccine and should not get the injection and/or nasal spray.
2. Use good cough etiquette and social distancing.
Flu germs can spread up to six feet when someone coughs or sneezes. Teach your child proper coughing or sneezing etiquette. Make sure that they know to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue, throw it away immediately, and wash their hands afterwards! If your child is sick, keep them from exposing others. Sick children need to stay quarantined until symptoms have dissipated.
3. Keep hands, objects, and surfaces clean.
Clean, clean, clean! This is the most important time of year to practice good hand-washing techniques and making sure that all shared surfaces and objects have been cleaned with proper disinfectants. Children should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or the length of the “Happy Birthday” song. Remember, the flu virus can live up to eight hours on surfaces!
4. Build up your natural immunity by staying healthy.
During cold and flu season, practice good health routines. Make sure to get the proper nutrition, vitamins, exercise, and adequate rest to help keep household immune systems strong. Make sure that your child is eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and milk, in addition to getting at least 10-12 hours of sleep each night depending on their age group.
Make sure that you institute these tips and research others. The flu can be life-threatening. Take precautions for you and your family through research and consultation with your medical professionals.