The flu is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Since seasonal flu viruses are constantly changing, it’s difficult for the human immune system to recognize them as foreign and mount an effective response.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu.
- Children ages 6 months and over should be vaccinated against the flu each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone older than 6 months get vaccinated annually, including pregnant women, young children, adults 65 years and older, healthcare workers, and caregivers of infants younger than 6 months old.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching anyone else or eating food. Hand sanitizer can also help prevent illness if you don’t have access to soap and water — but wash hands afterwards anyway because it doesn’t kill germs as well as soap does.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Teach children not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth as this can spread germs that cause illness. If your child has a runny nose, avoid kissing them on the face or sharing food/drinks with them.
- Boost their immunity by making sure they’re eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. A strong immune system will help them fight off any bugs they come in contact with.
- Clean surfaces often. Clean high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and light switches often with warm soapy water. Using a disinfectant spray will also help kill germs on those surfaces.
- Lastly, try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. If someone in your house is sick, have them wear a mask around your child and clean surfaces often.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your child healthy during flu season.