There are many great things about Winter, like drinking excessive amounts of hot chocolate, skiing and using the excuse of the cold weather to stay in and curl up to watch a movie.
However, there are also a few downers of this chilly season and that's the tickly coughs, runny nose and sneezes around every turn. Oh and if your child is sick, expect a whole lot of complaining.
You don’t need this in your life, so what steps can you take to secure yourself and your child a flu-free winter? Read on and let the FeverMates give you their top tips on staying healthy during this flu-season.
Leo the Lion suggests you keep your distance
By far the most common way to catch the flu virus is from contact with someone who has it already. Be very cautious when people fall ill during the winter, and aim to keep you and your children away from them. This means no hugging or shaking hands, minimal close contact, and the use of alcohol-based sanitising gel to eliminate contaminants from surfaces the infected person may have touched (door handles and telephones, for example).
This requires a degree of tact. Walking around clutching a rag soaked in disinfectant and yelling “unclean, unclean” at people coughing in your vicinity isn’t going to do you and your child's social lives any good, but neither is catching a serious bout of flu. Be polite but assertive, considerate but careful, and safeguard your health.
Freddie the Frog says always lather, rinse and repeat
The trouble with viruses like the flu is that they are incredibly difficult to eradicate. Washing hands frequently is a habit which most of us try to instil in our kids, but washing them effectively is a different story. Soap and hot water will not kill the virus, so your child must wash his or her hands with enough force to physically remove it from their skin.
This means scrubbing each hand for twenty seconds at a time, taking care to scrub the whole hand evenly. You can teach this skill to older children, but younger kids may have to be shown over and over again. It is only by this means that you can ensure that your family's hands remain free of contaminants.
'Be Proactive!' says Elly the Elephant
It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive, and the flu is no exception. The most effective way to treat flu symptoms is to never acquire them in the first place, so you need to make sure that you and your family are up to date on your flu vaccinations.
It is particularly important that young children and the elderly get properly vaccinated against the flu, as the virus can put their lives at risk. However, a flu vaccination is a good idea for people of all ages, as it helps you to avoid suffering from the symptoms and facilitating their spread.
Zoey the Zebra encourages everyone to stay vigilant
At this time of year, schools, playcentres and other places kids hang out become veritable breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria, so it is up to us to keep ourselves and our kids safe. Make sure that your child is aware of the risks of unhygienic behaviour and encourage regular hand washing and sanitiser use.
In addition, make sure that if your child feels that they are coming down with flu they stay home. If they struggle through the symptoms and go to school, no one is going to thank them for the inevitable mass flu outbreak a week later.
Remember to get vaccinated!
The 2018 flu vaccination as part of the National Immunisation Program will protect you and your family against the four strains of flu predicted to circulate in Australia over the winter months.
It is recommended by the Federal Department of Health that everyone from the age of six months should be vaccinated. It is especially important for those who face a higher risk of influenza and the various complications associated. Get in and get your vaccinations, before the peak flu seasons hit from July-August.
When all else fails - get FeverMates on the case!
This gives you the chance to find effective treatment quickly, before the symptoms properly take hold. Brightly coloured and available in a range of fun shapes, your children might even enjoy wearing them! Enlisting the help of FeverMates are a great way to fight the flu, particularly with young children. These hypo-allergenic, latex-free stick-on fever indicators monitor your child’s temperature, giving you an advance warning if your little one is coming down with the virus.
How do you combat flu symptoms at this time of year? Do you have any tips to share with our readers? Get in touch and let us know.
When your child has a fever, you have a judgement call to make - The time will come when you have to take them to the doctor or even the Emergency Room. So when is that point? Read FeverMate's Fever: When Do You Take Your Child to Hospital? blog for further details.