There's no real way to beat the flu once you've got it, so prevention is your only bet. Here are a few key ways to prevent flu germs from finding their way into your kids' bodies.
This is your number one defense against getting the flu. Get your kids vaccinated as early in the season as possible to be sure no icky germs sneak their way in.
The vaccine isn't foolproof, so be on the lookout for symptoms of the flu in your kids and the children they hang with. A sluggish demeanor, flushed face or runny nose could be the warning signs of an oncoming flu.
Be sure your children understand how nasty the flu is and how to avoid exposure to germs. Teach them about the importance of hand washing, keeping shared items out of their mouths and covering their coughs and sneezes. Also, if it's only your kids that know about flu prevention best practices, that's not going to do you much good. Encourage your children's school and daycare to teach these healthy habits as well.
Arm your kids with a small bottle of hand sanitizer to carry around in their backpacks and be sure they know how and when to use it. Also, take a look around the places your kids spend the most time. Be sure these places have ample soap and sanitizer as well.
Once a kid is sick, it's crucial that he or she not be exposed to healthy kids until his or her fever is gone for at least 24 hours without the help of fever suppressing medication. This could mean missing a fair amount of school. Talk to your child's school and be sure that the school encourages skipping for sick days by making catching up as easy as possible and offering lesson plans online.
If you follow the above steps, you and your family might be able to go back to calling flu season what it used to be called—winter!
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