Written by Amelia Wood
It's that time of year again that parents everywhere dread—that's right, cold and flu season. People around your office have probably already started to sniffle and sneeze and you can bet the same thing is going on at your child’s school or daycare. With all of these germs flying around everywhere, it’s no wonder so many kids come down with the common cold, flu and, in some cases, even pneumonia.
To help protect your little ones and save yourself a trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room, it’s important to take a proactive approach to not only your child’s but also your own personal health. Below are some helpful tips and tricks to help your child and you weather this season and make it to the sunny days of spring scot-free.
Take Your Vitamins
And make sure your little one does too. The worst thing people can do at this time is neglect their daily healthcare routines such as taking their vitamins. When your immune system is challenged and faces external threats, it needs all of the reinforcements it can get, which is where your vitamins come in. They supply your body with necessary nutrients that you might otherwise miss through diet alone.
Invest in Sanitizing Wipes
No matter the brand, you just need to stock up on sanitizing, antibacterial wipes to keep everyday surfaces and objects free of sickness causing culprits. Banisters, doorknobs, phones and keyboards are all havens for germs and I’m sure you can’t think of the last time you went a whole day without touching at least one if not more of these. So, since touching them is inevitable, you should do so wisely by sanitizing the area regularly. Give objects a thorough wipe before use, and possibly more depending on exposure/situation.
However, it’s important to remember not to go overboard in this department. Too much sanitation can be a bad thing as it weakens our immune systems. I know, I know that probably seems counter-intuitive, since they are, after all, antibacterial, but our bodies are already equipped with antibodies and other germ-fighting weapons to keep us healthy. If they’re never challenged, they will grow weak (just like us when we don’t workout) so let a few germs get through or risk breeding superbugs.
Talk to Your Doc about Shots
Flu shots can be a controversial topic—some people believe in them, others swear them off—and honestly I think the only person qualified to help you make the decision about whether you or your children should get one is your doctor. Before you go for it, ask him or her the pros and cons associated with it and determine whether or not the gains outweigh the risks. Not to sway you one way or the other, but often times they do more good than harm, but if you have any doubts in your mind, pick your doctor’s brain—that’s what they are there for!
Give Herbal Supplements a Try
By now, you’ve likely seen the ads for over-the-counter remedies such as Airborne and Zicam promising to ward off seasonal ailments. At their core all these supplements are simply herbal supplements with extra illness fighting vitamins and minerals such as Echinacea, Vitamin C and Zinc. They are like supercharged vitamins. Because of this, they have garnered many critics, but some people love them. Before you make your mind up about them, give them a try—after first discussing with your doctor of course. They might just prove a convenient, cost-effective way to survive the season of sniffles, and as a parent I know you can appreciate anything that cuts down on bills—medical or whatever!
I know some of the tips above are rather obvious and probably shouldn’t have required stating, but it never hurts to reiterate good, practical advice. At times like these, we can all use more of that! Wishing you happy health!