Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy And Away From The Flu Bug

Be sure that your child stays healthy and happy at school during flu season.

For parents and children all across the country, the beginning weeks of fall are often known as 'back to school season.' Our children pack up their school supplies in their backpacks and head off to the classroom for another year of learning and recess with their friends. However, with every new school year also comes a parent's worst nightmare―a new season of germs and flu bugs.

No matter how many different steps and preventative measures you may take in order to help your child avoid getting a stomach bug, the flu or even just a cold, the chances of your child getting sick are still very high. In fact, many studies report that nearly 22 million school days are lost each year because of illness.

Luckily, there are many things that you can do to prevent and lessen the impact of germs and sick days for your children who are in school. While there is no way to keep 100% of germs from infecting your home, practicing healthy habits and teaching your child basic health tips will ensure that they stay as happy and healthy as possible this school year.

To help you prepare your home and child for flu season, we have put together these basic tips that will keep the sick bug at bay.

Wash Your Hands Throughout The Day

One of the best ways your child can help to reduce the spread of germs is to constantly wash their hands throughout the day with warm soap and water. This should occur before and after eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing and after playing outside. Also, be sure that they know proper hand-washing techniques: scrub well between fingers and wash for at least 20 seconds.

Get Your Annual Family Flu Shot

Each and every year, you should make it a point to get everyone in your family vaccinated. Each year, the flu vaccine is developed in anticipation of the viruses that will be most prevalent during that particular season. For instance, this year's vaccine protects against both the seasonal flu and H1N1 ("swine") flu. Even if you have had flu shots in years previous or have built up an immunity to one virus, that does not mean you are protected against all other viruses or strains. Therefore, make sure everyone in your family older than 6 months of age is up-to-date on all their routine immunizations.

Watch How You Cover Your Mouth

While it is sometimes our natural reaction to cough or sneeze into our hands, this is actually the way that spreads the most germs. Instead, teach your children the habit of coughing or sneezing into the crook of their elbow or upper arm. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Follow A Healthy Diet Plan

Healthy habits, including the prevention of flu bugs, starts at home. One of the best ways to keep your family healthy and fit this flu season is to make sure they are eating a well-balanced diet that will build up a healthy immune system. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables to give us our daily essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, while also getting in a good amount of protein for energy.

Do you have any other important tips for keeping your family healthy during flu season? Be sure to share your suggestions with us in the comments below!


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Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas