Yup, flu season is here. We’ve officially hit that time of year when kids become little petri dishes, spreading colds and germs back and forth around friends and family like there’s no tomorrow!
So, if the sad truth is that the snotties and a relentless cough is more of a constant companion to your kids from May to September than their imaginary friend, then this what you should know.
Influenza (flu) is a very contagious viral infection that affects the air passages of the lungs. It causes high fever, body aches, a cough, and a plethora of other symptoms. It is one of the most common viral illnesses of the winter season. Most kids are ill with the flu for less than a week. But, unfortunately for some, it is more serious, and they may need to be treated in hospital. The flu could lead to pneumonia or death.
Can it be prevented and how do we as busy moms ensure healthy juniors in the face of new and unidentified viruses? Well, here’s the thing, there’s no guaranteed way to avoid the flu but there are certainly ways to boost your child’s immune system which will result in a healthier child and fewer days off work for you. Remember, if the body’s immune system is strong, it should be able to stare down any cold virus without blinking, but if the immune system is weakened, that cold virus will stalk its prey and win every time.
We have a few mom-tested immune-boosting strategies:
- Take them for the flu vac. The influenza vaccine remains the primary means for preventing seasonal influenza infection. The best time is March to June. It is never too late, but rather do it sooner.
- Get sneaky with fruit and vegetables. Aim for at least five servings of fruit and veggies per day. Carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries are packed with phytonutrients such as vitamin C and carotenoids, which can increase the body’s production of infection fighting white blood cells. Make them “souper” strong by adding flu-fighting antioxidants such as lycopene (found in red capsicum and tomatoes) to soups. Also embrace “taties.” Potatoes often get a bad rap for being a white starch, but this whole food contains immuno-boosting vitamins C and B6. Also, clever mom, serve family favourites such as wraps and tacos, but include colourful garnishes packed with nutrients.
- Give them probiotics. A healthy gut is key to a healthy immune system.
- Scrub-a-dub-dub. Establish handwashing at set times – after the toilet, before meals and snacks, after coming home from school, the playground, or a friend’s house.
- Remind them not to touch their faces. Flu viruses enter the body through the nose, eyes and mouth. Tough one!
- Avoid germ central. Put the kibosh on play dates with sick kids. Yup, be the party pooper.
- Make sure that they get enough Zzz’s. Studies show that poor sleepers get sick more often.
- Clean doorknobs, remote controls, and light switches regularly.
- Keep them active and hydrated.
- Humidify your home. There is scientific evidence that that the flu virus survives best in low-humidity environments.
Be sure to “winterwize” your family by encouraging a few healthy habits. It could be a game changer this flu season!
Source: www.elementalbottles.com, www.workingmother.com, www.kidspot.com, www.verywellfamily.com, eating-made-easy.com, thenaturalparentmagazine.com, www.babycenter.com, kulamama.com, www.parents.com, www.chicagotribune.com, www.sheknows.com, momsanity.com, www.ahealthysliceoflife.com, www.realsimple.com, www.hopkinsmedicine.org
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.