10 Cold & Flu Season Reminders for Busy Moms

Looking to stay ahead of cold and flu germs this fall and winter? Don’t miss these 10 essential tips for busy moms:

10 Cold & Flu Season Reminders for Busy Moms

Stock Up

Do it now. Stock up on boxes of tissues for all the commonly used rooms in your house, and don’t forget travel packs for the car. Hand sanitizer and antibacterial soaps will also come in handy, as well as antiseptic wipes and sprays to clean off popular surfaces like doorknobs and faucets. Truly leave no reason for your kids not to be getting rid of germs when they cough and sneeze this season by staying stocked up and ready.

 

Reinforce Etiquette

When it comes to coughing and sneezing, turns out there is a right and wrong way to do it. Remind your kids that if they have to cough and sneeze, to do so into their elbow, and to use a tissue and throw it right away when blowing their nose. Always wash hands for at least 20 seconds (or two rounds of the happy birthday song), and keep pocket sanitizers on backpacks for quick disinfecting at school.

 

Stay Warm

Exposure to cold weather doesn’t just feel chilly and lead to dangerous complications like hypothermia, but it can weaken your kids’ immune systems and make them more susceptible to falling ill. Make sure kids stay warm as the weather cools off by ensuring everyone has proper fitting coats, as well as gloves, hats or earmuffs, and scarves when they step out of the house.

 

Recognize Symptoms

Do you know what a cold looks like compared to general seasonal allergies? It’s important for moms to be able to recognize cold and flu symptoms right away so they can seek medical help before conditions worsen. Cold and flu viruses will cause symptoms like stuffy and runny nose, sore throat, headache and fever, and even more so with the flu, chills and extreme body ache (a result of the body pulling white blood cells out of tissues to fight off the infection).

 

Prepare Your Home Health Kit

Sure you’re stocked up on band-aids and bactine for cuts and scrapes, but do you have your cold and flu season tools ready? Place a small box in a memorable place like the kitchen or bathroom cabinet with your best family thermometer, blood pressure monitor, O2 monitor if you have one, and back up bottles of children’s cough and pain medicine, as well as lozenges, zinc tabs, and anything else you might want on hand to help monitor and stave off cold symptoms.

 

Use an App

Did you know that helpful apps and online services track flu outbreaks for you so you can monitor where and when your community is affected? FluView from the CDC offers you an interactive map to follow outbreaks (including which influenza strains are dominating), and SickWeather crowd sources social media data to track who is sick near you.

 

Avoid Sharing Cups

Even siblings shouldn’t be sharing cups during cold and flu season. It’s through respiratory droplets (from coughing, mucus, saliva, etc) that many viruses spread. For example, your daughter’s classmate could have coughed into their hand and touched her desk, and then she can transfer those germs to her own mouth and then other siblings if they share drinking utensils. Stick to individual cups and straws as needed to make sure kids aren’t swapping germs.

 

Keep Up With Sleep

Earlier bedtimes may be the drill for cold and flu season. Why? Not only is sleep great for resting up to face a new day, but it is actually the time where the body does a significant amount of work repairing itself and fighting off infection. Moms and kids alike should avoid staying up late by skipping late day doses of sugar and caffeine, not staring at digital devices right before bed (blue light can suppress melatonin production), and sticking to a regular bedtime.

 

Exercise

Not only will physical activity help keep unwanted holidays pounds off you and your kids, but regular exercise is a must for fortifying a strong immune system. The healthier your family’s immune system is, the more ready it will be to fight off infectious pathogens and germs. Plus, daily exercise is a great way to wear kids out for a restful night’s sleep!

 

Stay Hydrated

Healthy hydration plays an important role in keeping your kids alert, awake, and feeling good, but did you know it’s also vital to overall health? Drinking lots of water each day helps to boost blood circulation, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and flush out built-up toxins in the body’s systems which takes a load off the immune system, freeing it up to tackle germs and viruses that show up.

The Centers for Disease Control share that flu symptoms can take up to 2 weeks to actually present after infection so it’s critical to get the flu shot before an outbreak strikes your community. New to cold and flu season this year is the rising trend in telemedicine, which could be a good thing for your family. Stuck at home with a sick kid and your family doctor is all booked up? Live video chat with a board-certified medical doctor right from your own computer and let them virtually assess you or your child’s symptoms. They can provide diagnoses and even write prescriptions in some cases.

Don’t get blindsided by cold and flu season this year! By taking smart, preventative steps and using helpful tools, you won’t have any problem keeping your family healthy and happy.

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