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Protect your family from the flu

The last thing you want to deal with during the holidays is the flu. Doctors and pediatricians offer advice on keeping your family cold- and flu-free this season.

Don’t share

Sure, we’re usually all about encouraging kids to share… but some things should be kept to themselves. Like cups and eating utensils, according to Dr. Catherine L. Lamprecht, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases, department of pediatrics at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. She also recommends children use hand sanitizer or wash hands frequently, especially before eating, after using the bathroom and after coughing and sneezing to avoid spreading germs.

6 Ways to boost kids’ immune system >>

Get vaccinated

Dr. Lamprecht adds that the best way to prevent kids from getting the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Most other pediatricians who weighed in on our topic agreed that getting your kids and yourselves vaccinated is the best way to protect your family from the flu virus.

Be healthy, stay healthy

According to Jeffrey Bienstock, M.D., FAAP, director of pediatrics at The Valley Hospital in New Jersey says, “Good health beats the flu.??” He suggests staying fit, eating well and getting plenty of rest.

Dr. Bienstock says, “Moderate physical activity has been shown to boost the immune system. Eat your vegetables: They contain large sources of antioxidants, plus vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene. Have your child[ren] get their rest. While adults need about seven to eight hours, teens need more — about nine hours daily and growing children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep.?”

10 kid-friendly foods to prevent colds and flu >>

Don’t touch!

Dr. Zak Zarbock says, “Try to avoid touching your own face — the gateway for viruses and bacteria — whenever possible. Your hands contain millions of germs so the last thing you want to do is transfer them to your face.

Zarbock is not only a pediatrician, he’s also a father so he knows about colds. So much so that he created Zarbee’s all-natural cough products. He recommends using all-natural products when treating colds and utilizing a humidifier or nasal saline spray to help reduce the risk of catching colds or the flu.

Thinking outside the medicine cabinet >>

Registered herbalist Sara Chana IBCLC, RH (AHG), echoes Dr. Zarbock’s natural approach to curing winter illnesses.

She says, “We look for the specific symptom of that child and find ?the herbs and remedies that will work for that child.? Homeopathy and herbs help kids feel better when ?those ‘winter bugs’ try to get the best of them.”

More on kids’ colds

Winter health and safety tips for kids
5 Tips for keeping your kids healthy this winter
5 Ways to help kids beat the flu

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