The Flu…it is Here! What Can You Do to Keep Your Family Well?
Influenza or “flu” has certainly hit us hard over the last few weeks. The CDC tells us that influenza is widespread across our country, and to put it simply, people are sick! Influenza is a virus that causes high fever, upper respiratory symptoms, aches, ear infections, pneumonia, and yes, it even can cause hospitalization and death. Influenza is not an illness you want because at the very least you will feel awful for a good 7 to 10 days. Influenza has hit the news the past few weeks and we are hearing about a severe flu season and an increase in widespread illness. So what can we do to protect our family? We can’t lock ourselves in a sanitary room for the next couple of months! Here are a few tips to help get through this flu season and increase your chances of staying healthy.
- If you have not had a flu shot….get one!. It is not too late. We are just entering the peak of the season now. We are going to see this nasty flu virus for several more weeks at least. Recent reports tell us that the flu shot may not be as effective for the most predominate flu strain this year, but it is proven that flu shots do prevent influenza in many and if it doesn’t prevent the illness completely it decreases the severity of the illness and risk of hospitalization and death. Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive the shot, some protection is better than no protection!
- Wash your hands often and well! Good hand washing is the best way to prevent spread of illness. Make sure family members wash hands before eating, after being out and about at school or in crowds, and before they are in contact with the most vulnerable…children under age 5 and seniors over age 65.
- Stay home if you are sick! If we all stay away from those who are ill, that is the best way to prevent spread! Keep your kids home from school until completely well and don’t go to work if you are ill! Be sure you cough into your elbow and throw tissues in the trash and wash hands after “blowing” noses! We must protect each other.
- Keep your body ready to fight off illness! Be sure you and your family are getting enough sleep and are eating healthy. We know that when children and adults are “run down” they are more likely to get ill.
We will all make it through another flu season….but do what you can to keep you and your family healthy! Looking forward to that spring sunshine!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.