When the weather gets chilly, flu, especially among young children becomes an everyday occurrence. But you can take measures to keep your little one from becoming a victim. And if affected, be sure to find quick remedies. The best part is, unlike most ailments, it doesn’t cost much to treat flu.
Below is a checklist of some of the measures you can take to safeguard your kid from colds and flu during fall or any other season.
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Get the Child Vaccinated
Vaccination is one of the most efficient ways to shield your tot (and yourself) from flu viruses all year round. Be sure to visit your family doctor before the flu season kicks in (as soon as the vaccine becomes available) and get the young one vaccinated. Flu vaccination starts in January through to February and sometimes extends up to May depending on the number of people coming in.
Repeated studies show that taking your child for vaccination can reduce the chances of him/her getting sick by up to 90%. While a vaccine may not always protect your kid from infection, it reduces the intensity and duration of symptoms.
Restrict Your Kid’s Movement
Flu is an airborne disease. When your child becomes infected, the best way to stop the condition from aggravating is to let them stay at home. Again, if there’s an outbreak, restricting the kid’s movement within the neighborhood may be the surest way to prevent infection.
Wash Your Child’s Hands Frequently
Cleaning your preschooler’s hand appropriately and regularly will indeed help prevent flu and colds. It helps alleviate cold germs that the kid may pick up at school, playground, stairs or floor. By extension, it prevents the flu virus from getting into the body.
Speaking of washing hands, you’re better off with a bottle of hand sanitizer in your house. Even though warm water and soap will get rid of the germs, a hand sanitizer works better. Studies show that disinfecting the hands with a sanitizer lessens the risk of upper respiratory illnesses significantly.
Cover Your Nose When Sneezing
As stated, flu and colds are airborne diseases. It, therefore, makes sense to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing as a preventive measure. Use a clean handkerchief or bathroom paper. Dispose of the tissue properly when done. As always, wash hands before getting into contact with your child. Encourage your kid to do the same to prevent the spread of the viruses.
Whether it is chewing on finger food or nail biting, children will always find a way to put hands into their mouth and nose. These are areas where germs can easily enter the body. It is always good to encourage your kid to avoid putting the hands into the mouth especially if they’re old enough to understand. If your child is too young, make sure that you wash their hands frequently.
Let You Kid Get Plenty of Sleep
Adequate, sound sleep is beneficial as far as countering the effects of colds and flu is concerned. Studies suggest that enough sleep is crucial for a healthy immune system. In fact, lack of sleep will only worsen the flu and extend the period of symptoms. Doctors recommend that you allow you tot to sleep for at least seven hours.
If Possible Let Your Child Stay at Home
You don’t have to bring your child outdoors if it is not necessary. When the flu season is at its peak, your little one will get infected if he/she gets into contact with a person suffering from the viruses. Only go out with your kid when it is unavoidable.
Feed Your Child Healthy Meals
A healthy diet will certainly perk up your baby’s immune system. In essence, this means that the body will fight flu and cold viruses better. The diet should contain fruits, lots of veggies, complex carbohydrates and low-fat proteins. Also, encourage him/her to take lots of fluids.
Let Your Kid Stay Fit
Playing is important as it helps your child stay healthy and improve cognitive skills. It also helps boost the immune system, protecting your child from becoming sick. In adults, a regular exercise regimen helps ward off extra weight and is essential overall health.
Avoid Smoking Near Your Child
Cigarette smoke increases the risk of flu, especially when done close to your baby. Smoke in open spaces if you have to. Better yet, work on quitting as it may lead to cancer and heart disease in your child. It also exposes you to the same risk.
In conclusion, flu and colds are not hard to treat. But, if ignored, they can intensify to other serious ailments. Don’t be caught off-guard during the flu season. The above measures will ensure that your child stays infection-free.