Flu can make your routine miserable with the cough, runny nose, sore throat, and fever that follows. This condition can make you and your kids feel extremely tired and get late or take leave from your workplace and school, respectively. Flu easily transmits from person to person through airborne droplets, so we need to control it as soon as it affects anyone in our family.
In Oklahoma, flu most commonly starts showing its symptoms in October, peaking in December to February, which are the coldest months. However, we present you with a few measures that you can take to prevent the occurrence of flu in your family:
Getting vaccinated is the most important step toward the prevention of flu. Flu viruses mutate every season, so you need to vaccinate yourself as well as your family almost every year. Vaccines are administered in your body with the help of an injection. CDC recommends everyone over six months of age to get a flu shot. It is preferably recommended by the end of October, before the peak of flu season, as it takes the vaccine at least two weeks to build your immunity. However, if you are unable to get your shots in October, you can get them any time after that as well since the flu season may last up till May as well.
According to a report published in The Oklahoman, Oklahoma saw a significant rise in influenza-like viruses in December 2022. Hence, vaccinations are important to protect yourself and your family. You could even get flu shots from an Oklahoma pharmacy near you, like Creative Health Pharmacy, which also provides vaccinations by experts.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
Washing your hands regularly is a pro tip, not only to prevent flu but also many other different diseases. It can reduce the spread of the virus and many other kinds of germs. Washing your hands should be a regular habit in every season but is more helpful when the spread of viruses and diseases is at its peak. You can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol in the absence of a handwash or when you are at the workplace.
Make washing hands a regular habit in your family by reminding your kids to wash their hands after meals, after returning home from school or the playground, etc. This will also serve as a reminder for elders in the family to wash their hands more often. Remember to wash all the parts of your hand, from your fingernails and wrist to the spaces between your fingers. It is recommended to wash your hands with warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Cover Cough Properly
You need to make sure that you teach your kids the right way to cover their cough to prevent the transmission of viruses to other members of the family. The germ-filled droplets that the sneeze releases can travel up to 6 feet and affect anyone within this distance. You can use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. However, you need to make sure that you do not use the same tissue over and over again and discard it after using it once. You can also contain the transmission by wearing a mask whenever you go out.
Hands are the most frequently used body parts for contact with others, so they should remain free from germs. You can also use your arm to cover up your face if you do not have a tissue with you. Hands infected through coughing and sneezing can also spread serious diseases, like whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome, commonly known as SARS.
Avoid Exposure to Viruses and Germs
Oklahoma is one of the most highly populated and busiest cities in the US, so locking up yourself and your family at home is not an option. However, you can always limit your contact with people during the peak flu season to protect yourself. You can keep yourself and all your family members safe by avoiding larger gatherings, likely to expose you to the influenza virus.
Now that COVID-19 has made us familiar with masks, you can take your kids to malls and movies with masks to protect them from the surroundings.
Take Care of Your Body
You need a healthy body and immune system to combat flu effectively, even if it affects you in the first place. You need to take good care of yourself to build that strength for your body to be fully equipped to fight such viruses.
You need to make sure that you take good care of your diet and that of your family. Your diet should have more healthy food, such as fruits and vegetables. Consume foods that can provide the right kind of minerals and nutrients required for your immunity to function well; for example, Vitamin C and zinc can help shorten the duration of colds, and vitamin D3 can support your overall immune system. You need to make sure that you exercise regularly for your body to stay healthy and avoid habits that can weaken your immune system, such as smoking. Make exercise a family activity by playing some music and motivating the entire family to do some stretches, yoga and cardio. If your kids are little, encourage them to run in the yard and build stamina or ride a bike.
Disinfect Your House
The most frequently touched surfaces in your house, such as doorknobs and tables, can become a source of infection since viruses can rest on these surfaces for several hours. You need to make sure that you clean these surfaces before an uninfected person encounters them.
You should first clean these surfaces with a general surface cleaner and then with a disinfectant spray to clean the germs. Make sure that you clean everything that your family can touch. Your toddler may crawl on the floor and catch an infection, so clean all the surfaces, from the floor of your house to the computer keyboards and windows.
Getting the flu is not dangerous, but it is irritating and contagious and can also weaken a person, so it needs to be prevented and taken care of beforehand. Taking care of your body and encouraging certain habits among family members can prevent this condition and allow you all to live freely, even in the peak of the flu season. You just need to make sure that everyone follows these measures, takes plenty of rest, and follows a healthy routine.