Flu Season Steams Forward: Mom Tips for Battling This Year’s Flu
With much of the nation affected by this year’s flu strain, we Moms have become acutely aware of our family’s risk of contracting the virus. From coughing co-workers to the sneezing neighbor kids, the flu – along with a host of other ailments – appears to be everywhere.
At school, kids remain especially vulnerable, as they huddle together for reading groups, spend time in close quarters on the school bus and cafeteria table, and trade snacks at afternoon activities and play dates. Winter sports and activities add into the mix as kids share equipment, spend hours in crowded gyms, and take classes in enclosed spaces – particularly if they participate in more than one sport or activity.
Fortunately, Moms can take several steps toward keeping kids healthy and mitigating flu risk. I’ve included some of my favorite tips here:
• Pay Attention to Pals. The flu can run through classrooms, so keep an eye on your child’s friends and change plans, if needed. Reschedule play dates or sleepovers so your kids reduce their exposure to friends who may be affected. Head off disappointment by helping kids understand how germs spread and reminding them of the importance of staying healthy so they can play in next week’s band concert or indoor soccer tournament.
• Wipe Out Germs. Clean hands help prevent the spread of germs, but kids’ daily activities often take them far away from soap and water. Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipes provide a quick, easy way to kill 99.99% of bacteria. Toss them in back packs, lunch bags, the backseat of your car, school lockers – and give a stash to your child’s teacher – to keep hands clean this winter.
• Go into Laundry Overdrive. When a flu assault runs through a family, wash your kids’ pillowcases and sheets in very hot water – even daily, if you can. And, if your younger children constantly clutch a blanket or stuffed animal, toss those in, too.
• Sleep Rules. Kids will always lobby for a later bedtime or one last story, but don’t give in during flu season. Stick to nap schedules for younger kids and keep bedtimes consistent for older ones. If sleeping proves tough due to nasal congestion, prop kids up with an extra pillow or two at bedtime to sleep in a more upright position.
• Stay Home. With contagious illnesses such as the flu, home remains the best place for sick kids – and adults. And make sure family members have recovered completely before returning to school or work, and resuming activities.
Disclosure: Wet Ones® brand is a client of Mom Central Consulting, and Stacy DeBroff is serving as a Wet Ones® brand spokesperson. Wet Ones is a registered trademark of Playtex Products, LLC.