Has your family been hit by flu or cold yet this year? Although the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be behind us, there are still viruses and bacteria in the air. Whether it’s battling the 2022 flu season, managing a common cold, or dealing with something like ear infections and strep throats, there’s always a chance you and your family can catch something. How, then, do you stay healthy?
Here are five tips you can follow now, as well as year-round, to help your family avoid colds and flus. Plus, as a bonus, they are just good practice to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
We all want our kids to eat their fruits and veggies. When looking to boost their health and immunity during the 2022 flu season, getting all those good nutrients into their bodies is that much more important. Aim to add at least one fruit or vegetable to each meal, supplementing with healthy snacks in between. As an example, try:
- Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or raisins added to oatmeal at breakfast.
- Carrots and celery with lunch (bonus: these travel great in a school lunchbox!).
- After-school snack of sliced apples with nut butter (SunButter is a perfect alternative for kids with tree nut allergies).
- Green salad, broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus (and plenty of other options) are great additions to a healthy dinner.
- Bananas and grapes are perfect after-dinner snacks.
You can also offer a multivitamin supplement, but whole foods are always the best choice.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
When it’s hot outside, we automatically reach for water, but as temperatures fall, water consumption can go down as well. Hydration is key to a strong immune system, and it can help you navigate the 2022 flu season with fewer sniffles and sneezes. Drinking water and staying hydrated has several health benefits, including:
- Helping the blood transport nutrients throughout your body.
- Lubricating the mucus membranes in the nose and throat.
- Detoxifying the body, including getting rid of germs, by draining the lymphatic system.
- Reducing instances of headaches, digestive issues, and muscle aches.
Offer your children plenty of water to drink throughout the day. This should be their go-to beverage at each meal, as well as in between meals.
3. Stay Diligent about Cleanliness
It should go without saying that cold and flu season is not the time to get lax about cleaning routines. Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently, especially after wiping their noses and before eating. Keep antibacterial hand sanitizer in your diaper bag or purse, and stash one in your school-aged child’s backpack. And remember to wipe down frequently touched surfaces in your house, including doorknobs, faucets, and toilet handles.
4. Use a Nasal Rinse
Since colds and flus enter through the nasal passages, keeping them clean can be a great way to minimize the effects of the 2022 flu season. For children as young as four, a Neti-Pot or Neil-Med is a simple way to rinse the nasal passages. In fact, many pediatricians encourage nasal rinses during allergy season to curb sneezing and stuffiness. While younger children won’t be able to finagle this on their own, a nasal syringe is a great alternative to keep nasal passages clean and remove any germs that have settled there.
5. Get a Flu Shot
One of the best ways to keep colds and flus at bay during the 2022 flu season is by getting your annual flu shot. Children as young as six months are eligible for the vaccine, and the CDC recommends getting it by the end of October. Children aged six months to eight years may need two doses to be fully immunized, so the earlier you get them the first vaccine, the better.
Protect Your Family This 2022 Flu Season
Community Choice Pediatrics wants to keep your children happy and healthy during the 2022 flu season (and year-round!). If you have questions about how to protect your children, we welcome your call. And be sure to contact us to schedule their flu shots!