Flu season is upon us, and kids can be some of the most susceptible to catching and spreading the virus. Not only do you have to juggle COVID concerns, you’ve got to worry about the flu as well! The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu shot every season. There are still ways beyond the annual flu shot to improve your family’s health. Here are some tips for the whole family to stay safe this flu season:
Make handwashing a family competition.
Keeping your hands clean and sanitized is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of germs. Remind your kids (and yourself) that you should wash your hands with soap for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice — roughly 20 seconds. For more competitive kids, make it a game. Have them keep track of who washed their hands most in a day, or extend it to a week. This can help establish handwashing as a key habit.
Encourage a well-balanced diet.
While a healthy gut won’t protect your family from all ailments, eating healthy foods promote a strong immune system and can reduce your chances of getting sick. Skip the greasy fast foods, and make sure the whole family gets enough vegetables and fruits in their diet.
Boost safe activities.
During 2020, most families found themselves at home rather than out and about. That remains true during the midst of flu season. One of the safest ways to prevent exposure to the flu is by limiting activities involving large crowds. Rather than going out for dinner, have your child help in the kitchen, and make it a learning experience. Swap in-person movies for a blanket fort and a home movie night.
Personal items should stay personal.
Most kids love to share. They don’t think twice about letting someone use a pencil or take a sip from a drink. During flu season, however, these behaviors can put them at a much higher risk of getting the flu. Remind your children that their items are theirs and to not share things like food, drinks, or items they’ve had in and around their hands or mouths.