Flu season is here, but that doesn’t mean you are doomed to days sitting in doctor’s office waiting rooms, missing work (and sleep), wiping noses and trying desperately to keep sick, cranky children comfortable. There are a few easy habits you can install now to help your family stay healthy all year. Here are some ways to keep germs at bay.
Stress the importance of washing hands.
Hang up reminder signs in the bathroom. Ask your kids, “Did you wash your hands?” when they come out of the restroom. Remind them to wash up before every meal and snack. Send them to the sink when they cough, sneeze or pick their nose. Carry hand sanitizer and wipes in your purse for times when you can’t get to a sink. Hand washing is one of the easiest and most important factors in reducing germs.
Practice the vampire sneeze and cough.
Teach children to sneeze or cough into their elbow instead of covering their mouths with their hands. This is also called a vampire sneeze or vampire cough because of the way Dracula pulls his cape around him. Yes, most of us were taught to cover our mouths with our hands, but that puts the germs on our hand where they can easily be spread to others. Have your children teach their friends the vampire move. Make sure their teachers know it is better for stopping the spread of sickness.
Make sure immunities are high.
People who are well rested, have low amounts of stress and eat a healthy diet are less likely to get sick. They often recover quicker and aren’t hit as hard when the flu does catch up with them. Make sure your children have theirimmunizations. Feed them lots of fresh fruits and veggies (or breast feed babies for as long as possible). Get them to bed early. Stay active as a family and communicate to keep stress down.
The flu season doesn’t have to be scary. These simple tips will reduce germs, keeping your family healthier from all kinds of illnesses.