Our first piece of advice for those hoping to avoid the flu will always be to get the flu shot. But if you and your children haven’t gotten it by now, you could already have the flu in your system since the season officially kicked off in October. And if a Facebook friend’s recent post is any indication, this season’s strain is a doozy:
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick… This flu has been expelled from the 5th circle of hell. It’s angry.”
If you’d like for you and your kids to avoid a similar plight, try these tips for avoiding a trip to the doctor this flu season:
- Wash hands. Be sure you and your kids are all washing your hands with soap for 15 to 30 seconds each time. Do this every time before eating, after using the bathroom, after using public transportation, etc.
- Avoid touching your face. Touching your nose and eyes frequently may serve only to more quickly deliver the virus to your system. Be warned: it could take more than a few reminders before the little ones get the hang of it.
- Take your vitamins. Getting the daily recommended dose of vitamin E and other vitamins help to strengthen the immune system.
- Have tissues handy. Be ready to catch those germs released during sneezing and coughing.
- Get enough sleep. Not getting the recommended hours of sleep each night can deplete your immune system. The recommended number of hours differs by age: adults require 7-9 hours while kids age 5-10 require 10-11 hours.
These tips apply to people of all ages, but adults in particular can boost their immune systems by avoiding alcohol, smoking, and stress.
For more information on the flu, including symptoms, when to go to the doctor, and what to expect from your appointment, read the Vitals Influenza Patient Guide.
Sources: cdc.gov, health.howstuffworks.com, and sleepfoundation.org