The holiday season is full of fun, joy and laughter ... until someone gets sick. That's right, it is cold and flu season again and its just not as fun to enjoy the holidays when you're coughing and sneezing through them.
Here are some great tips for staying healthy. A lot of these methods are ones we've heard for years, but conscientious reminders help keep us on track:
1. Wash your hands often - every time you touch something, you should wash your hands. It sounds like a lot of work, but the fastest way for you and your children to get sick is by transferring germs from your hands to your mucous membranes. It only takes a moment.
2. If you can't wash, use hand sanitizer - a lot of places even have this available for you. Don't walk past it, be sure to use it to help keep yourself germ free.
3. Remind everyone to cover their mouths when they cough and/or sneeze - this is especially important for small children who tend to forget. Helping to contain that cold will help keep it from traveling to the rest of your family.
4. Don't share eating utensils/cups - this is a quick way to spread a cold or the flu!
5. Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics right away - most colds and the flu are caused by viruses and treatment with antibiotics won't actually help. Getting an opinion from your Doctor is a great idea if you are unsure, but don't argue with them if they tell you that you don't need antibiotics.
6. If you are stick, stay in your own home - stay nice and warm and rest so that you can recover. Also, stay inside so that you don't risk spreading the disease to anyone else, therefore minimizing its life-cycle as best you can.
7. Try to avoid using cough suppressants except when absolutely necessary - yes, they may make you feel better, but you're not actually going to cough up the junk that's making you sick. You might be better off using an expectorant to get rid of the junk and use a cough suppressant only at night if you can't sleep.
8. Be mindful of dosing and keep medicine out of the reach of children - medication dosing charts are very important so that your body doesn't get a toxic dose of a medication. Small children are curious and will consume medications that they can reach, so be careful.
9. Drink plenty of fluids - keeping your body hydrated will help loosen and thin mucous so that it can easily be expelled from your body. Maintaining adequate hydration will also help make you or your little ones feel better quicker and make recovery easier, so drink up!
10. Rest - when your body is fighting off something, it needs rest so that it can work internally. Try to give it the rest that it needs by lying down and relaxing as much as possible. You'll feel better and be ready to run around soon enough!
Follow these tips to help keep your family cold and flu free, or at least relieve the symptoms as quickly as possible!
Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!