It’s officially the time of year that parents dread most: cold and flu season! If you haven’t been hit by the flu yet, you probably know a few (or a few dozen) people that have. Unfortunately, this year’s bug is particularly strong, with many complaining of symptoms lasting up to two weeks! Fortunately, there are a handful of preventative measures you can take to ensure that you and your little ones stay healthy.
- Juice it
We all know that a vitamin-rich diet contributes to immune system health, and chances are you already try your best to keep your family’s diet as healthy as possible. During cold and flu season, it’s helpful to step it up with the fruits and veggies. Since we all know it can be difficult to convince little ones to do so, try adding a smoothie made from fresh fruits and veggies to their diet. Check out Inhabitots’ organic kid-friendly smoothie recipes and Family Sponge’s tips for introducing your kids to smoothies.
- Keep it clean
We’ve all seen those terrifying studies that prove grocery cart handles have more germs than toilets. In fact, a recent study found that 50% of grocery carts had E. coli bacteria. Even worse? A whopping 72% had fecal bacteria (YUCK!) While it’s always a smart idea to disinfect at the grocery store, it’s essential during cold and flu season. If you come into contact with anything many people have touched (public phones, handles, etc.) be sure to slather on some hand sanitizer. As for those disgusting shopping carts, we recommend covering the handles with your CityGrips! Afterwards, simply give them a good washing to remove bacteria.
- Go to bed!
While ensuring your children get a good night’s sleep is a given, you’ll actually want to increase their shut-eye time during cold and flu season. Dr. Mengel of the St. Louis School of Medicine recommends getting at least 8-10 hours of sleep during this time. The more tired your body is, the harder it will be to fight off the flu.
- Keep it contained
If you’ve had the misfortune of contracting a cold or flu, you’ll want to avoid spreading it to the rest of your family. There are a few extra steps you can take in addition to the obvious, like segregating yourself and washing your hands often. If you need to cough or sneeze, do so into your inner elbow – not your hands, which are more likely to come into contact with your little ones. Also, be sure to dispose of used Kleenex immediately and throw used dishes in the sink – you don’t want those germs lingering!
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! By taking a few precautionary measures like increasing nutrition and preventing the spread of germs with your CityGrips, you and your family will reduce your chances of contracting the cold or flu this season.