Each year, we deal with cold and flu season. With five us in our family, it seems that at least one or more of us tends to get sick a couple of times each winter. Those pesky bugs love to hitch a ride home on my kids a few times each year, which they then are so kind to share with Mom and Dad.
Fortunately, the bug is usually a short lived cold or something that is not too severe. I credit this to being ready and doing simple things to prepare for cold and flu season, so I can keep my family healthy.
This post is sponsored by Puffs & Vicks available at Walmart. All opinions are my own.
GETTING READY FOR COLD & FLU SEASON
It is so easy to get caught up in staying indoors during the cold months. Bundle up and take a walk to get outside and get some fresh air. Exercise is always helpful to stay healthy.
You don’t have to spend hours outdoors. It can be a walk around the block, raking leaves or even building a snowman. Just get outside and enjoy the sunlight and fresh air. It does your body good!
Related: Fun Fall Activities You Can Do with Your Kids
Wash your hands
Washing your hands is the best way to prevent illness. This is even more important when you have a cold as those germs get onto your hands while blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing.
Make sure to wash them the right way though – up higher on your arms! And, also ensure that you wash them long enough. Have the kids sing the alphabet song twice and that should ensure they are getting their hands good and clean.
If you are sick, don’t go out. Stay home and recover. When you are sick, you spread those germs to others, who in turn end up sick. You certainly do not want to spread illness to babies or elderly friends or family members, as they could become severely ill.
This includes not only kids, but also adults. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t tend to our families. When you are running a fever, stay home and get well.
Sneeze and cough the right way
Instinct is to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. However, that is the simplest way to spread germs. You cough into your hand and then open the refrigerator door. That door now has your germs on it and your family is at greater risk of getting sick.
When you sneeze or cough, do so into your elbow. That way, your hands stay clean and you aren’t spreading your bug to the other members of your family.
Eat healthy and rest
If you are well rested and your body has the nutrients it needs, you can better fight those bugs in the winter months. Make sure you get enough sleep each night and get the healthy foods you need.
Stock up on the basics
Even when you take all the necessary precautions, you and/or your family may end up sick. There is nothing worse than rushing to the store in the middle of the night to get items you need.
Now is the time to stock up on some of the essentials that can help you get ready for cold & flu season. Some of these include:
- Chicken Noodle Soup (or your favorite soup)
- Pedialyte or other drinks to stay hydrated
- Puffs Tissues (those with lotion provide extra softness and comfort)
- Cough Drops/Throat Lozenges
Having everything you need on hand, before you need it, will help not only you – but also your family – feel better.
Have backup plans ready
If you come down sick, you will need to have someone who can help you out. It may mean a friend helps with school pick-up and drop off or a family member takes them to practice.
You should also have a backup sitter ready. If you get the call that he or she is sick, you still need to go to work. Rather than being forced to burn a vacation day (or take the day unpaid), have someone who you can reach out to as your backup sitter.
Keep a clean house
Germs and viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to two days. And, if they are on hard surfaces such as metal, plastic or wood, they can live even longer. It is very important that you clean your house frequently during the fall and winter months.
A simple thing to do to get ready for cold & flu season is to make sure you use disinfecting products and wipe down light switches, door knobs, door frames, remote controls, phones/tablets – anything that your family touches frequently. A little more cleaning can help keep the germs at bay and help keep your family healthy.
Related: 15 Secrets to Keeping a Clean House
The flu vaccine is a great way to prevent the flu from taking you down. That doesn’t mean you won’t get it, but it can often lessen the symptoms, allowing for a quicker recovery and less downtime. It is important that you speak with your physician to determine if this is right for you and your family members.
While you can’t guarantee you won’t get the flu or catch a cold, being ready and doing what you can to stay healthy can make all the difference.