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How to Prevent the Spread of Cold and Flu

Preventitive measures you can take against the seasonal flu.

By
Cherylyn Feierabend
5-minute read
Episode #137

Teach Kids to Keep Germs to Themselves

If your children have good manners, they probably say “excuse me” when they sneeze or “bless you” when someone else does. It’s important to teach the manners of keeping your germs to yourself. If my kids are going to cough or sneeze, I ask them to face away from other people and cough or sneeze into a tissue or napkin that they then promptly throw away. Of course, this should be followed by a good hand-washing. If you have a child who is coughing or sneezing frequently, keep them armed with a nice supply of tissues and keep yourself armed with some hand sanitizer.

I know that some people are not fans of hand sanitizer, but when you can’t immediately get to a washroom it’s a great substitute to keep on hand. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, business offices, stores, and many other establishments now have sanitizer dispensers mounted on their walls. Take advantage of them. If you can’t get to a washroom, grab some gel and help your kids rub it on their hands. Let them know not to lick or eat the gel and tell them it’s to help fight off the bad germs. It also tastes pretty nasty! You can also find handy sanitizing wipes in the front of most grocery stores. These are for the carts, not the kids. Wipe down your carts before you put children in them or before you start pushing them. Remember, these are used by different people, both healthy and sick, throughout the day. You don’t know who was there before you.

Prevent the Spread of the Flu by Avoiding Germ-Infested Spaces

Another way to decrease the amount of germs you are sharing with your surroundings is to go outside. Make your surroundings bigger and give your germs and other people’s germs some space. When you are in a tight, closed space, germs are just hanging around. Avoid spending a lot of time in cramped areas with your kids because cramped areas harbor germs. Yuck. Take your kids out to play and spend some time getting fresh air. Not only will that help keep them healthy, it will encourage exercise, and, my favorite, it will tire them out! This brings us to another germ-fighting tip: make sure you and your kids get plenty of rest. You are naturally healthier when you are well-rested and well-nourished. Playing outside will also increase thirst, which will encourage drinking. More water and fluids are great! Staying hydrated will help prevent illness. Eating healthy meals and staying nourished will also boost immunity.

Finally, if your child is sick, please keep them home from school and away from other children. Also, remember that if your kids are going to school or day-care, they will undoubtedly be coming into contact with sick children. Do your best to shield your child when you can, but don’t fret too much when they are away. We’ve all been exposed to different types of flu or cold viruses. We have our immune systems to defend us. When I’m sharing these tips with you, I feel like a germaphobe, but I’m really not afraid of the germs! I just want to do my best to keep them at bay. Besides, a few germs can’t scare my kids or me away from those fancy mall play-areas! I just try not to think about it while the kids are playing; then I take them home and wash them!

If you’d like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy you can e-mail me directly at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!

 

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