Use These 10 Tips To Prepare for Cold and Flu Season

Use These 10 Tips To Prepare for Cold and Flu Season

It’s October, which only means one thing — it’s the flu season again. Getting ill is the last thing you want to avoid at all costs when holidays are just around the corner, as it can impact your daily obligations. How do you prepare your family for a cold? Here are 10 tips to boost your immune system and help you protect your loved ones from contracting the flu virus.

1. Get a Flu Shot

Getting a flu vaccine is the first of the 10 ways to prevent sickness during flu season. Each category of people receives different flu jabs. For instance, pregnant women will have a separate vaccine from other healthy adults.

The CDC recommends getting an annual flu vaccine appropriate for your health status and age unless you have a life-threatening health condition or severe reaction to flu shots. Most insurance plans cover flu vaccines, so you don’t need to spend out of pocket. Talk to your health care provider about getting vaccines for you and your children.

2. Avoid Close Contact

Avoid close contact with ill family members, friends or coworkers. Prevention is the first defense against the spread of flu. Four types of influenza viruses make people sick — A, B, C and D. A and B bring epidemics during flu seasons and are highly contagious. The virus is transmitted through saliva droplets from coughing, sneezing or touching contaminated surfaces.

Separate your kids’ personal things if they catch the flu. Wear gloves when washing their plate, drinking bottles, personal kitchen utensils or towels. Similarly, avoid close contact with others if you get infected.

3. Wash Your Hands

Handwashing is the most effective method for the prevention and control of influenza virus during the cold season. You can avoid 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses and 20% of respiratory infections by washing your hands with soap. Teach your kids the same every time they use the toilet and touch door knobs, handrails and other surfaces accessible to others.

Good personal hygiene stops the potential transmission of diseases and keeps your hands clean. Even when you unconsciously touch your eyes, nose or mouth, the risk of infection is low.

4. Stock up on Health Supplies

Buy health supplies before the flu season starts. Stock up on hand sanitizers, soap, disinfectant sprays, essential oils and masks. These can provide relief to fever, cough and congested nose. Having these things ready before winter limits your exposure to grocery stores or public places with potentially high concentrations of airborne viruses.

5. Restock Your Medicine Cabinet

Make it a yearly habit to replenish your medicine cabinet and replace expired items. Buy antihistamines, cough and fever medicines, pain relievers and decongestants. Fever and body aches are signs the body is fighting the virus. Treating these and taking cough relief capsules at the first sign of illness can help stop the flu immediately.

6. Disinfect Regularly Touched Items

One method to avoid getting the flu when a family member has it is routinely disinfecting surfaces. Spray disinfectants on doorknobs, phones and remote controls every day. It intercepts the spread and growth of the virus and protects other family members.

Additionally, make time to clean your surroundings. Wash kitchen and toilet surfaces using household cleaners with germ-removing features. Throw away the garbage with used tissue to limit cross-contamination.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Stress can cause irregularities in the immune response, increasing your risk for illnesses, including flu and common cold. Several ways can deflate stress and sleep is one of the safest methods without side effects. Help your immune system by getting enough shuteye. Set a sleeping time for the kids. Deep rest can restore healthy bodily functions.

8. Consume Immune-Boosting Foods

Sometimes, exposure to viruses is inevitable regardless of how thoroughly you prepare. Prepare and eat nutritious foods to prevent the flu or avoid unpleasant symptoms after exposure.

The flu virus has an incubation period between one to four days, but this can vary for everyone. On average, symptoms develop two days after getting exposed. If you don’t get a fever, cough or any flu indications, it doesn’t mean you’re not infected. You can be asymptomatic but may still transfer the virus to your spouse or kids.

Serve your family foods that strengthen their immune system. Even if your kids don’t have an appetite, encourage them to eat vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins C, D and zinc to nourish the body.

9. Stay Hydrated

Water helps carry immune cells that fight infections to the different parts of the body. Hence, hydration is critical in supporting immune system functions.

Drink at least eight glasses of water daily or 11.5 cups for women and 15.5 cups for men. Try to increase your fluid intake when you are ill. Besides water, you also obtain hydration from fruits and vegetables. Add servings of citrus fruits, leafy veggies and plant-based milk every meal.

10. Develop Positive Lifestyle Habits

Maintaining good habits, such as regular exercise, stress management practices and quitting smoking or alcohol, can all contribute to healthy immunity. Getting a flu shot can protect you from getting the disease, but a better lifestyle can sustain proper immune functions, whether it’s flu season or not.

Set aside 20 to 30 minutes daily for physical activity. It will give you energy and an immune system boost.

Preparing for the Flu Season Can Protect You and Your Family

While you can’t entirely predict whether you or another family member will get the flu, preparing for possible infection can minimize the impact of the disease. For one, you will know what steps to take next to avoid further transmission. Moreover, taking flu vaccines can help prevent health complications and unnecessary costs associated with hospital admission. Visit your doctor for a shot and do the rest of the tips here to effectively prepare for the cold season.

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