Cold and Flu Tips for Busy Moms
Fall and winter cold and flu season is a great time for busy moms, because it gives then an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Just a few adjustments into the daily schedule, as well as an extra doctor visit or two, allows moms to all but eliminate the chances of illness and also teach them important lessons about lifelong health.
That’s because effective cold and flu prevention requires both natural and man-made medicines, so your family gets a healthy balance.
The stakes are high. Every year, millions of Americans fall ill with cold or flu to the extent that it either keeps them in bed or at least keeps them from participating in their normal activities. More than 200,000 people get sick enough to receive hospital treatment, and around 36,000 of these individuals die.
Frequent hand-washing that borders on obsessive behavior is the best way to prevent the spread of any germs. Soap, hot water, and twenty seconds of scrubbing is the best way to clean hands. But, for various reasons, that kind of hand-washing is not always available.
The good news is that the scrubbing motion, more so than the hot water or soap, is what kills most germs. So, that motion alone, along with a little help, is a great way to keep germs off hands.
Place alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the living room and encourage kids to use them frequently, perhaps during every commercial break on TV. Put them in other rooms of the house as well. Furthermore, older kids (maybe 7 and up) can take travel-size bottles to school.
While no one disputes that hand washing prevents colds and flus, vigorous debate remains as to the flu shot. The majority of people — including the majority of medical professionals — do not get flu shots, at least in part because they fear the side effects. At the other end of the spectrum, the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies essentially say that not getting a flu shot is a foolish and unnecessary risk.
A flu shot is a lot like a seat belt. Despite the side effects and the miniscule chances of being involved in a car crash, almost everyone buckles up on almost every trip to be ready for the unexpected. Flu shots are a hassle for busy families and the side-effects can be severe, but they are still worth getting as preventative measures.
These side-effects are not nearly as bad as they were a few years ago. Most people with egg allergies can now get these shots. That’s a good thing, because people with such allergies are at risk for serious flu complications.
In addition to the shot and hand-washing, here are a few ways you can help keep your family healthy without a trip to the doctor or the pharmacy aisle:
More Vitamin C
Supplements are great, especially when the first indications of illness (it’s good to know which ear thermometer is best in these cases) arise. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C are even better, because the body absorbs nutrients more quickly than supplements.
Because it depletes children’s immune systems, it is a good idea to cut back on sugar consumption. Like the extra Vitamin C, this habit is a good one all year long and not just during fall and winter.
One of the strongest immune system-reinforcing plants in the world has proven benefits in this area. Astragalus may also help heal wounds faster, and in adults, may ease chemotherapy side-effects and lessen the risk of heart attacks.
This good tasting food additive is rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. All these ingredients boost the immune system.
Since natural remedies usually take longer to work than chemical ones, implement these changes early in the cold/flu season to maximize their effect.
Even the busiest moms can keep their kids healthier this year, and the rest of their lives, by making a small investment of time.