5 Tips For Getting Your Family Through Cold And Flu Season

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Winter doesn't have to be synonymous with sore throats, coughs, sneezing, and achy joints. While it often seems like the winter months bring one cold or flu after another, if you are proactive about prevention you can greatly increase your chances of keeping your family healthy all winter. By following these five tips, you will reduce your family's overall risk of cold and flu and be able to enjoy a much healthier and more comfortable winter:

Make Sure Everyone Gets Flu Shots

While the specific recommendations and mode of flu shot delivery can vary from year to year, experts agree that getting a flu shot is the most powerful way to prevent flu each year. While late fall (the start of cold and flu season) is the ideal time for everyone in your family to get a flu shot, as long as it's still flu season it's definitely not too late to get a flu shot. Getting a flu shot will reduce the chances of getting the flu for everyone in your family, as well as reduce the severity and duration of the flu if you do catch something.

Keep Stress Under Control

A strong immune system helps you fight off cold and flu germs you're exposed to so you don't get sick. Unfortunately, high stress levels have been shown to weaken your immune system, increasing your chances of getting ill frequently. Making sure everyone in your family has ways to reduce stress and anxiety on a daily basis is a great way to keep them healthy.

Stress reduction approaches can include yoga, meditation, cardio workouts, writing down troubles and anxieties in a journal, or even talking to a therapist. Having nightly conversations about everyone's days (especially one-on-one) will give you, your children, and your spouse a chance to decompress and let go of their stress.

Practice Good Hygiene

Make sure that your kids understand the importance of frequent hand washing, especially after sneezing, using the restroom, and interacting with anyone who's sick (or touching their belongings) as many cold and flu germs spread through dirty hands. Show even young children how to thoroughly wash their hands using plenty of soap, warm water, and vigorous scrubbing.

Try Elderberry Syrup

Syrup made from elderberries has long been used as a natural remedy for preventing colds and flus, thanks to the high concentration of immune-boosting vitamins these little berries contain. If you want to save money and make sure your elderberry syrup only contains ingredients you feel good about giving to your children, you can even make your own using one of the many recipes found online. The standard preventative dosage seems to be one teaspoon per day for each member of your family.

Bump Up Your Cleaning Routine

Simply keeping your home extra clean can cut way down on flu and cold germs. Wipe down counters, doorknobs, light switches, and faucets with antibacterial wipes or all-purpose cleaner once a day or so. You may also want to wash bedding and towels more frequently in the winter since germs can linger on these items. Finally, even though it's cold outside, make sure to air out your home by opening the windows now and then, to freshen your indoor air and prevent germs from lingering in the stagnant air inside your home.

Not all colds and flus are preventable, but following these tips will still help your family stay as healthy as possible this winter. If your family seems to be dealing with an unusual degree of colds and flus this year, it's a good idea to make an appointment with a family doctor at a clinic like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.