Oh winter. So full of possibilities for fun in the snow. So dreaded by moms who know that their kids are going to be cooped up with their buddies in a classroom passing germs back and forth.
Cold and flu season officially kicks off right about ... now ... and if past reports from the CDC are any indication, it could last straight through April or even May. If you're like me, that means spending the next six months on high alert. So how do you keep your kids from being the repeat offenders in the nurse's office and prevent plowing through your sick days at work? It's not that hard ... really:
1. Get Your Flu Shot. Considered the gold standard of influenza prevention by the CDC, it's still your best shot (pun very much intended) of avoiding days of misery in your household. Recommended for every kid age 6 months to 19, the vaccine does NOT give anyone the flu. But it can prevent a disease that's killed as many as 153 kids in a year.
2. Get Cooking. Balanced meals go a long way toward boosting the immune system, so your family can fight off illness.
3. Get to Bed on Time. It seems like common sense; a tired body is a body that's just inviting a bug to settle in its system. But it's also scientific fact. One recent study found that people who got less than seven hours of shut-eye were three times more likely to get a cold than the folks who get their eight hours.
4. Get Cleaning. When it comes to germs, everyone talks about washing your hands to rid them of germs. It's true, but what about all the other dirty spots in your house? When we walk in from a trip to the grocery store or the office, we're bringing all sorts of germs in with us on our clothes/purse/etc. Maintain a habit of cleaning frequently touched items such as the refrigerator door handle and the faucets, and you reduce the spread throughout the house.
5. Get Your Own. Ever notice how viruses like to travel from family member to family member? The key to end the sharing of a cold is to stop sharing cups, pizza slices ...
Is your family ready for cold and flu season? Do you get sick this time of year?
Image via CB and GK/Flickr