I’m not going to lie, I have LITERALLY been hiding out in our house ever since the news broke that this is one of the worst flu seasons in the past decade. As of writing this there have been 53 pediatric deaths, and the numbers for adult deaths are rising every. single. day. These numbers are absolutely awful.
But the weather has been gorgeous and I seriously can’t keep Cruz indoors forever. We’re both about to lose our minds. Cabin fever is no joke. As much as I want to protect him from everything he can’t ONLY see the inside of these walls for the next few months. Ok I’m exaggerating a little but I certainly have been a little more anti-social than usual.
Let’s face it, children are germ magnets. They are the ones who are most likely to bring a sickness into the home..over and over and over again. So to prevent the flu bug this season, and any season, below are my top 15 natural tips to keep your kids healthy this flu season (that don’t involve being a hermit for 6 months).
A healthy immune system is the number one way to protect from the cold and flu
- Keep your child hydrated. Keeping your children hydrated helps all of their bodily systems work correctly. It flushes toxins, gets oxygen into the system, otherwise toxins can build up in the kidneys and begin to compromise their immune system making them more susceptible to the flu.
- Sleep/Rest. Sleep is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. A sleep deprived child is A. NO FUN B. more likely to have a weakened immune system and less likely to fight off the germs. In general, people who are sleep deprived are more likely to get sick…this means YOU TOO, PARENTS!
- Hand Washing. This is probably the MOST useful and efffective way prevent the spread of germs and its SUPER EASY! Use soap and warm water and wash for 15-20 seconds. I’ve always heard you should sing “Happy Birthday” when washing your hands- thats about how long everyone should be washing for. Or make it fun and get creative- make up your own song!
- Teach them. Teach your child to cover their mouth when they cough. They may not have a cold but this will at least teach them ways to help prevent the spread of anything later on. Runny nose? Teach them to use a tissue (but seriously, we all know that sweatshirt sleeve is doomed).
- Bundle Up. It’s all about preventative care and boosting that immune system, so stepping outside for a second in cold weather doesnt mean your kids will automatically get the flu, but it certainly doenst help. A warm body helps fend off germs and keeps that immune system in tip top shape. So keep your kids warm, but don’t over do it. They shouldn’t be sweating either!
- Don’t Touch! The eyes and mouth are basically how the germs get into our systems. This is a tough one especially for younger children, but make a game out of it. Congratulate them for going x amount of time without touching their eyes or mouth- make a game of it!
- Stay away- Avoid crowded public places within reason. When people are in close proximity viruses spread faster. I took Cruz to our local play group and sure enough there were 100 kids jammed into a room and half had runny noses and glossy eyes. Bye.
- No sick people. I hope this goes without saying, but if Grandma is sick, or “just getting over it” and she wants to come over and visit then I’d suggest politely declining. Working in the beauty industry for years, people are so much more likely to lie about their health status and “if they are still contagious.” No thanks, I’ll see you when you’re healthy and well. Don’t take any chances. If you look sick, you sound sick, then to me you still ARE sick. See ya soon Grandma!
- Keep nails trimmed- This is probably one of my favorite tips because its not one I would think to do when protecting my kids from the flu, but it totally makes sense! Sure I keep Cruz’s nails trimmed but I can certainly be a little more proactive with it. This is great to eliminate dirt and bacteria from collecting and help keep those little paws clean. Personal hygiene!
- Eat well– It’s important to incorporate plenty of phytonutrients (plant based foods that are known to fight of bacteria and germs) Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans all have phytonutrients. Also, the deeper/rich colored foods like blueberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes etc tend to pack the most punch, especially in comparison to cucumber or celery are mostly water. And don’t forget the protein which also gives your immune system a much needed boost. And skip the processed foods. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label, don’t eat it. Give your kids a handful of berries instead or something else that grew from the ground.
- Avoid refined sugar-I’m sure you’ve heard by now but sugar is not a good thing, and im specifically talking about refined sugars like white table sugar, corn syrup, sodas, etc. Sugar can have a terrible effect on the immune system, inhibiting it from fighting off germs and bacteria. And not only that, these processed sugars can stay in the body’s for hours at a time weakening the systems immunity.
- Stay moderately active, and let your kids play outdoors (if weather permitting). Not only is a little running around proven to reduce stress, they’ll also get a healthy dose of vitamin d which increases energy and boosts immune system.
- No sharing cups or food- Remember when I said the mouth is one of the fastest ways to spread germs? Let’s keep the sharing to a minimum, for now.
- Massage: Did you know that massage has a lot more health benefits than simply loosening tight muscles? Aside from it being a great destressor, massage increased blood circulation, getting more oxygen into the system and help move toxins to the kidneys to be flushed out. So grab some lotion or body oil, and treat your child to a Toddler/baby massage. (This can also help relax them- perfect right before bed time)
- Avoid using chemicals, that means eat organic if you can, and try making your own natural household products. Save some money and make your own natural cleaning products. Less chemicals in the body means a lot to the immune system!
Remember: a healthy immune system is the number one way to protect yourself from flu and cold!
Flu season is said to end late February and possibly going into early March. We are still in the peak season and it may continue to rise. The flu is very much still widespread, reaching 48 states and Puerto Rico. We are experiencing the highest rate of flu hospitalizations since 2010!
So please, keep yourself and your little ones safe and protected!
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The articles and information given on this website are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care provider. They are not intended or to be interpreted as medical advice. They are more so intended in the sharing of information.
Nothing stated here should be considered as medical advice for dealing with any given problem, or to diagnose – treat – prevent – cure any disease. All information posted on this website is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult your health care professional for individual guidance for specific health problems.
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