5 Ways to Take the Punch Out of Cold and Flu Season
Although cold and flu season is in full swing, it doesn’t have to throw a wrench in your family’s plans this winter. By following careful hygiene practices, boosting the immune system and ensuring up-to-date immunizations now, you can stay healthy in the months to come.
- Get vaccinated. Begin by making sure all family members – including adults – are current on their vaccinations, especially the flu vaccine. Adults who get sick can pass illnesses on to children, the elderly and others who are much more vulnerable to complications. Getting immunized later in the season can still be helpful. While flu season typically peaks from December through February in the United States, outbreaks can appear as late as May.
- Stock your medicine cabinet now. Keep basic supplies on hand such as tissues, cough drops, vitamin C and Pedialyte (to keep young children hydrated). Old-fashioned chicken noodle soup is another remedy to clear nasal passages and help children rehydrate. Here are some tips on what you may want to have handy in your medicine cabinet to fight colds and flu.
- Wash hands frequently. Educate everyone in your household about the importance of hand washing to slow the spread of viruses. Teach children to cough into their elbow or upper sleeve instead of their hands to reduce the spread of germs. When handwashing isn’t an option, consider alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Learn the five steps of effective handwashing.
- Keep surfaces clean. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs can slow the spread of illness. Countertops, computer keyboards, doorknobs, telephones and toys are great places to start. Also, avoid sharing glasses and utensils with others.
- Head outside. Exercise boosts the immune system. Even when the weather is cold, it is beneficial to bundle up your family and head outside for fresh air and exercise. Get tips on how to keep working out in winter.
Learn more about how to stop the common cold and other illnesses.
Prevention: The Best Cure
As always, prevention is the key to health. Read more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to stop the spread of germs. For flu vaccinations for family members ages 18 months and older, the healthcare professionals at RediClinic are available seven days a week. You can also make an online appointment to be seen at your convenience. We’re here to help you stay healthy during cold and flu season!
The exact timing can vary, but cold and flu activity typically starts to increase in October and peaks sometime between December and February. Here’s what you need to know about flu shots and other ways to protect yourself this season. (more…)