With all of the talk about the flu season and the H1N1 scare, I wanted to do some posts about staying healthy and offer product reviews and giveaways to help you if you do get sick. It seems like it is hard to avoid this year. My family and I have been extra cautious especially because I am pregnant and H1N1 is especially bad for pregnant women. I feel like we are being hermits, staying home all the time and avoiding visiting with friends and family, but in the last month of my pregnancy I would really hate to get sick before I deliver. Staying away from people is an easy way for us to avoid coming in contact with viruses and colds.
December to March is prime flu season so you will want to load your arsenal with information and products to help before it hits. Here are some ways to help prevent the spread of colds and flu viruses when you are out and about as well as when you are home.
One very important thing to remember is that the flu can be spread from 1 day before symptoms appear to 5 days after becoming sick. It is possible to spread the flu before you even know you have it. For this reason you need to always be on your toes in terms of germ prevention.
I am quite a germophobe! Here are some things we do to prevent the spread of germs while we are out and about:
- Wipe down the handle and entire seat area of your shopping cart (especially if your kiddo is sitting in it). Try to avoid letting them lick or suck on the cart and at minimum make sure you wipe it down good before they get the chance. Many stores now offer wipes right by the carts. I also carry travel wet ones in my purse in case the store doesn’t have any.
- Carry your own pen to sign receipts and forms wherever you go. Do you have any idea how many people touch the pen on the counter at stores, doctor’s offices or wherever you are?! If you have to sign a digital box with their pen then use hand sanitizer afterwards.
- Avoid “shared toys”. For example, at the paediatricians office we sit on the bench behind the main lobby area with the toys. Do you know how many sick kids may have just sneezed on those toys! Bring your own for your kiddo to play with and don’t feel bad if they whine that they want to play with the other toys. You are saving them from the flu! If you let your child play in public play places make sure to wipe down their hands good when they are done playing and especially before they eat.
- Carry hand sanitizer gel in your purse so you can use it whenever you have to touch anything questionable. I always use my hand sanitizer after leaving every store. It also comes in handy when you need to eat at a drive though and don’t have a sink to wash your hands.
- Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes when you are out shopping! This is the primary path for germs to enter your body. Be aware and avoid touching your face until you have washed your hands.
- When leaving a public restroom use a paper towel to open the door and then discard it. You don’t want to touch the handle after you have just washed your hands. After all, not everyone washes their hands after going to the bathroom.
Other things you can do to help prevent getting the flu are:
- Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies and protein
- Consider adding probiotics to your child’s diet. A recent study showed that kids who were given twice-daily probiotic supplements for six months experienced fewer fevers, coughs, and runny noses during the cold and flu season than children who were not. You can also get probiotics from yogurt with probiotics in it. I will have a review and giveaway of probiotic supplements coming up!
- Get plenty of rest. You don’t want your immune system to be compromised by lack of sleep so go to bed at a decent hour.
- Dress for the weather. This goes for you and your kids. No, they will not “catch” a cold by going without their jacket, but it does compromise the immune system’s ability to fight off infections.
- Ask sick friends and relatives to stay away. For a long time I just bit my tongue and didn’t say anything when a sick friend or relative would come visit and unknowingly spread their germs to me and my family, but now I realize that it simply isn’t rude to ask them to wait to visit until they are well. You have a right to protect your family from being sick and not feel bad doing it.
I hope some of these tips help you to keep your family healthy this flu season. I realize I am a total germophobe too by the way! 🙂 I will have some upcoming reviews and giveaways to help you find great products to get you through the flu season too!