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8 Tips to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

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There are so many reasons to love fall–relief from high summer temperatures, sweater weather, Halloween, changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything. However, one thing people do not love about fall is that it marks the approach of flu season. To help you prepare, here are 8 tips to stay healthy during flu season.

1. Get a Flu Shot

The best way to stay healthy during flu season is by getting the flu vaccine each year. The CDC recommends that any person who is old enough (over 6 months old) and medically cleared should be vaccinated against the flu. The vaccine will help build immunity to the virus and the body will make antibodies around two weeks after you get vaccinated. So, you should get the flu vaccine at the beginning of flu season rather than waiting until people around you start getting sick.

2. Avoid Close Contact

One of the things you can do to stay healthy during flu season is to limit close contact with others who are sick or exhibiting flu symptoms. This is especially important if your child or another family member is sick and you are caring for them. After being close to a sick person, you should wash and sanitize your hands and do the same to any other surfaces they touched.

3. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is always important, but it’s even more essential when trying to stay healthy during flu season. You should wash your hands as much as you can, especially if you are in contact with people who are sick or may be sick. It can be hard to get children to wash their hands enough, but encourage them to do so frequently, even if it seems repetitive.

For maximum effectiveness, you should scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. A good way to make sure you are washing long enough is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Make sure to get your palms, the backs of your hands, between the fingers, and under your nails. Water temperature is not as important as the scrubbing, which helps physically remove germs.

4. Don’t Touch Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth

Washing your hands is definitely helpful and good hand hygiene will prevent a lot of illnesses, but you should also avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. These parts of your face are common entry points for germs that can make you sick.

5. Clean and Sanitize Surfaces

Viruses and other germs tend to survive best on hard surfaces rather than soft ones like clothing and toys. Use a germ-killing cleaner or sanitizer to wipe down counters, trays, electronics, toys, thermometers, and other items with hard surfaces often. Even though hard surfaces are more commonly associated with spreading germs, clothing and soft toys can also be washed after coming into contact with a sick person as a safety measure.

6. Pay Attention to Overall Health

One of the best ways to prevent getting sick during flu season is to practice habits that will keep you in good general health. The healthier you are overall, the more resilient your immune system will be. Make sure you have a healthy diet and increasing vitamin C and vitamin D intake may help boost your immune system. Exercising and staying active will also help keep you healthy, as will staying well hydrated. Other things that will keep you healthy to guard against the flu include getting plenty of sleep and managing your stress.

7. Cover Sneezes and Cough

If you or your child have already gotten sick, then you can prevent it from spreading to others around you by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze and cough. The spray from sneezes and coughs can spread pretty far in a variety of directions, contaminating surfaces and coming into contact with other people.  Always try to use a tissue, but if you end up sneezing into your hand or elbow (as many people are instructed to), then wash the area immediately.

8. Stay Home

Other than covering your sneezes, one of the best things to prevent spreading the flu if you or your child has already gotten sick is to stay home. Both children and adults should avoid going out in public while sick and stay home until they are no longer contagious. It’s inconvenient to miss work or school, but staying home not only contains the illness, but it will also help you recover more quickly.

Schedule an Appointment

The doctors and staff at Kernodle Pediatrics are here to provide complete and comprehensive pediatric care for your child. That includes keeping them healthy through preventative care like vaccinations and well-child visits, and treating them when they have acute illnesses like the flu. If you want to schedule a visit to get your child vaccinated, or have concerns about how they can stay healthy during flu seasons, you can call our Elon office at 336-538-

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