How To Avoid The Flu

I know…that title is kind of funny because it’s almost impossible to avoid getting sick during the winter months! But there are ways to cut down the chances of getting the flu. And I am going to give you some tips that you can use for the kids – and for yourself – on how to avoid the flu.

The CDC recently reported that the flu is reaching epidemic levels a bit earlier than usual this season, and is now widespread in 43 states. Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, makes you feel miserable. The flu viruses live in human respiratory droplets and you can get the virus both through the air and on surfaces that have been touched by people who have the flu. These viruses can live outside the human body for up to 48 hours. Gross! Symptoms include  fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, cough, runny nose and sore throat. 

There are ways that you can avoid the flu! These tips will narrow your chances of getting sick this flu season.

5 Tips To Avoid the Flu

If the flu hasn't made it's way to your house yet, you are lucky! There are ways you can avoid the flu. This post explains what the flu is, symptoms, and how to steer clear of it.

Wash your hands. A lot. And don’t touch anything (only kind of kidding)

When you go to the grocery store, or any store where there are shopping carts, make sure to clean the shopping cart handles with disinfectant wipes before you touch them. This is also true for anything you touch in public places: the gas handle when pumping gas, opening doors, money…just about everything you touch is fair game. Now you can’t run around with wipes or wearing gloves everywhere, but once you are back in the car you can use wipes or antibacterial gel to clean your hands. And when you get home, wash them really good!

And if you use a fabric shopping-cart cover to protect your little ones from touching shopping carts, know that germs can survive longer in fabric than on the cart’s plastic handle. Make sure to wash the cover regularly. 

Beware of the playground

Not just the park, but any place the kids play. I read somewhere that jungle gyms are more germ-infested than public bathrooms. Blech! While yucky to think about, it makes sense; bathrooms are cleaned regularly but playground equipment is never cleaned.

Teach your children not to touch their mouths, noses, or eyes at the playground. Easier said than done, I know. Before leaving the park, make sure to use antibacterial hand gel on everybody’s hands and to wash them thoroughly when you get home.

Avoid sickos

If you know somebody is sick, try to avoid being around them. Impossible for the kids at school, but you gotta do what you can at home. And remember, people are most contagious when they are running a fever. So if your little one has a fever, try to keep him or her away from other kids.

Teach the kids how to cough and sneeze 

Teach your kids to sneeze and cough into the crook of their arm instead of just coughing or sneezing into the hands or the air. If your kids have runny noses, use tissues to clean up and then wash hands.

Get a flu vaccine

You can easily avoid the flu simply by getting a flu shot. While they aren’t 100% effective, they are definitely a big help in narrowing your chances of getting the flu.

If the flu hasn't made it's way to your house yet, you are lucky! There are ways you can avoid the flu. This post explains what the flu is, symptoms, and how to steer clear of it.

Okay, now let’s say that the kids get the flu. How do you care for them? First off, make sure to follow safe and proper dosing of over the counter medicines. I have 10 tips for to help here. ALWAYS read the drug facts label and never give oral cough/cold meds to kids under the age of four. Give them lots of love and snuggles, and chicken soup. For more tips and tricks for dealing with sick kids, I love these tips from real moms.

For more information on how to avoid the flu, symptoms, and what to do if you get the flu, you can read all about it at OTCSafety.org.

How do you avoid the flu during the cold and flu season?

Disclaimer: I’m being compensated as an OTCSafety Blogger, though all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions expressed here are my own. Keep up-to-date on OTCSafety information by visiting the OTCSafety website  and by following them on Pinterest.

Jungle gym image via Flickr: Cosmic Kitty

Comments

  1. A little late for us, my whole family has the flu right now, but super great tips!! Especially the washing hands, which I feel like I do 20 times a day as it is. Sigh…

  2. The timing is just needed Natalie! Beware of playgrounds and leather bags (which attract most germs). Kids need to learn how to wash their hands properly. We wash ours while singing happy birthday or abc song. It’s just so hurting when your little one catches a flu. Washing hands is prevention!
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