There is nothing worse than having a wave of cold and flu sweep through your house— especially if it takes down all of your family members at once! Unfortunately, with kids in school, and even just being out and about during your daily routine, picking up cold and flu germs is easy, if you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent it!
Flu activity tends to pick up in October and November, peaking from late November through March, and according to flu experts, we may be in for a particularly harsh season ahead. Keep scrolling to find the best ways to prevent both you and your kids from cold and flu season this year.
Stay away from germy places
If there is one easy way to prevent a wave of cold and flu from hitting your family, it is to simply avoid places where the sicky germs come to play. A recent survey found that the top places where those with the flu are likely to be found are the drug store or pharmacy (69 percent), grocery store (43 percent), workplace (39 percent), a friend or relative’s house (20 percent), and a restaurant (16 percent). Other germ-clad places to avoid also include the ATM, public transport, and the gym.
Wash your hands— often
Even if you’re a habitual hand-washer, it’s important to instill the importance of doing so in your kids! In order to get rid of any viruses you have come into contact with, you need to scrub your hands hard for 20 seconds or more, suggests WebMD. One smart way to time your washing is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while cleaning between fingers, the backs of your hands, and under your nails. Other food for thought— the temperature of the water doesn’t actually matter, scrubbing alone will do the trick!
If you can’t get to the sink to scrub with soap and water, use a sanitizer to rid your hands of germs.
Use your elbow
“Cover your mouth” is a common saying this time of year, but don’t use your hand! Train yourself and your kids to cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm, or the inside of your elbow. This is far more effective in preventing the spread of germs, especially for kids at school.
Pass on sharing
Sharing may be caring, but not during cold and flu season. Kids should avoid sharing cups, utensils, and food with their friends during this time of year and while you’re out and about, avoid taking from any shared candy dishes.
If your kids have a play date, birthday party, or other planned event, consider keeping them home if they aren’t feeling well or the other partygoers are or have recently been sick. But if resting at home isn’t an option for your Minis, make sure they wash their hands before and after and avoid touching their friends hands.
Reach for the ginger
Ginger juice can play a big part in stomping cold and flu viruses. “[Ginger] gets between viruses and the walls of your upper respiratory tract so they can’t attach,” holistic nutritionist Carly Brawner tells MyDomaine. Two to five ounces of ginger juice every day is enough to keep bugs at bay, either straight, in tea, or in a shot blend like these Citrus Ginger shots.
Get some rest
Rest is crucial to boosting immune health and recovering faster from a cold or flu. Kids ages 5 to 10 will need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night, even more for the younger crowd! If you or your Minis feel a bug coming on, lying down to rest is just as helpful, even if you don’t fall asleep.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water! For adults, you should be throwing back at least 80 ounces a day to get rid of any viruses and a slice of lemon can help to boost your immune function.
Throw away your toothbrush
If you or your Minis have been sick, toss out that germy toothbrush! It’s time to spring for a new one and start fresh on a healthier note!
You also might like these Allergy-Friendly Foods for the Whole Family or these 10 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.
Opening Image: Lauren Mancke