Cold and flu season predictably hits every year, and it will invariably take its toll on your family. While sickness cannot be one hundred percent prevented, there are steps that you can take to protect your family and lessen the risk that one or more members of your household will get sick. These measures are a mixture of common sense and practical measures that you can incorporate during cold and flu season. There are things that you can do independent of vaccinations to keep your family healthy. If you have been vaccinated and have suffered an injury, make sure to contact a flu injury lawyer. Here is some of what you can do to protect your family during cold and flu season.
The first thing that you need to do is visualize what your enemy is during this season. What it seems overdramatic to think of bacteria in militaristic terms, it is not too much of a stretch. When your image of bacteria is of something that needs to be defeated, you are one step ahead of the game.
5 Ways to Protect Your Family this Cold and Flu Season
1. Wash Everything in Sight
The first thing that you need to keep clean is your hands. Your digits are a conduit for germs to reach your system. Your hands touch your food and can transmit bacteria in large numbers. It is vital to wash your hands at all possible times and to double your efforts during cold and flu season. Use anti-bacterial hand cleaner whenever possible and carry a small container with you at all times. Fecal matter can make you sick and it goes from your hands back into your system if you do not wash them frequently. According to the Centers for Disease Control, frequent hand washing can cut the risk of respiratory illness by as much as 21 percent. When the cold is going around, anything that you can do to lower your risk of getting it can make the difference between a week in bed and a bug avoided.
Germs can live practically anywhere, especially on surfaces that are conducive for them. Take the time to wipe down all of your surfaces with a cleaning solution. This will help kill the bacteria that live on them and will make its way into your system. In addition, you should do your laundry as well as that of your family members frequently during cold and flu season because bacteria also stays on clothing.
2. Rest When Necessary
Your immune system is at its strongest when your body is well-rested. This starts with making sure to get all of the sleep that you need to keep your body refreshed. Try to get eight hours of sleep every night as a baseline. While nobody is suggesting that you hibernate, a good night’s sleep matters even more during flu season.
If you are not feeling at your best, make sure to get extra rest to ward off the approaching virus. While taking it easy when not feeling well will not prevent the cold, it will help your immune system battle whatever threatens it. If you are not feeling well, do not feel the need to be a hero by pushing yourself to keep going. Instead, take some time out to rest and refresh yourself. While you should get the proper amount of rest, you should also take care to remain active since that will help build your immune system.
3. Keep Vitamin C Levels High
Vitamin C is one of the best minerals to keep your immune system strong. Orange juice for a cold is more than just a myth. Give your family regular vitamins and keep fresh orange juice around the home. Famed researcher Dr. Linus Pauling claims that large amount of Vitamin C can completely prevent a cold. Vitamin C can also help lessen cold symptoms. One study claims that Vitamin C can knock the equivalent of one day off of a cold for both adults and children. Other studies have shown that proactively taking Vitamin C can reduce your risk of a cold by up to a half.
4. Keep Kids Home When Necessary
When doctors tell you that daycare is where germs go to play, it is hardly any exaggeration. Many outbreaks of illnesses begin with children at their school or care group. If you learn that there is a virus going around, consider keeping your kids at home even if they are not yet sick. There is a high chance that they will bring something home with them and spread it to the rest of the family.
Similarly, if your children do not feel well, resist the urge to keep sending them to school. It will make their illness worse and will increase the chance that they will pass it to you. Sometimes, one day off may be enough to keep kids from spreading a virus. While taking time off from work to be with a sick child may be difficult, it lessens the chance that you may need to take more time off of work if one’s condition worsens.
The same holds true for you. If you need to take a sick day, you are human. One sick day is an investment in your future health even if it is not easy to miss a day of work. Sometimes, getting some rest and stopping activity is enough to quickly get you back to health.
5. Protect Your Entire Household
Families are known for sharing things with each other. Along with love and memories, families also share germs. When one person in your family gets sick, you need to get defensive in a hurry. Make sure that everyone else in your family keeps a safe distance from the person who has a cold or flu and double your efforts to keep everything clean and sanitized. If you think that you are getting sick, try to avoid contact with others in your household if you are able to do so.
Mark T. Sadaka is the principal of Sadaka Associates, LLC, in Englewood, New Jersey with offices in New York and Maryland. He is an accomplished trial lawyer with a specialized medical background that has made him a leader and invaluable resource in the realm of medically complicated cases.