Coughs, sneezes, and sniffles are not that rare at this time of the year. Someone’s kid is always sick, and when we want to make plans, we have two options: to stay home and cancel everything by being the overly protective parent, or to say “it’s not a big deal” and then end up with flu or something worse.
Why don’t we help our kids and family stay healthy this flu and cold season? Here are some things that doctors recommend. This could help us all from taking those ugly sick days.
Take a flu shot
The flu shot is not 100 percent effective, and that is true, but the risk of getting ill is slashed by about 50 to 60 percent if you decide to get the flu shot. Recent studies came with that conclusion. In addition, if you do end up catching the flu, a flu shot will make your symptoms much less painful. There is a little warning for parents whose children are scared of needles – Once there is a welcome alternative for kids ages 2 and older, the nasal spray is no longer an option. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has come to the recent data which found that during the last season, only 3 percent of all people who used the nasal spray had effective results on the fighting the most common viruses that circulated. The American Academy of Pediatrics, as a result, said that it shouldn’t be used anymore.
Wash your hands whenever you can
The average number of student sick days is drastically reduced when they have at least four breaks to wash their hands according to a study conducted in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. Absence from school due to illness is cut by more than a half when doing so. This includes problems with a stomach issues like diarrhea and stomach bugs. According to the CDC, germs on our hands can be eliminated by lathering up with soap and water and then scrubbing for just 20 seconds. The temperature of the water doesn’t matter; both are equally effective. If you have hand sanitizer that contains alcohol, it is also very good to use it after washing your hands, but be aware that too much can kill the important bacterias, so use it sparingly.
A healthy immune system begins with enough hours of sleep. Parent’s advisor, Judith Owens, M.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital says that it is very important to set a bedtime routine for you and your children and try to stick to it as much as possible. She also said: “There is a fair amount of evidence to suggest that the key is not just getting the right amount of sleep but also keeping your schedule consistent.” If you sometimes go to bed or you wake up about half an hour later, that should not be a problem. But if that time is one hour and more, your circadian rhythms can interfere, says Dr. Owens. One seminal study published in 2009 gave us an answer to how much sleep is really important. Nasal drops containing a cold virus were administrated by researchers to more than 150 people. People and children almost three times more likely to get sick. On the other hand, the ones who in the last two weeks had less than 7 hours of sleep per day than those with eight or more hours of sleep. If we talk about children, they need even more sleep. Depending on a child’s age, they should rest between eight to 14 hours per night.