Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. Time for family gatherings and holiday cheer, yes, but it’s also that other time of year. You know what I’m talking about. The time of year when everyone around you seems to be sniffling, sneezing, or otherwise hacking up a lung? Yup. That time. It’s cold and flu season again.
As much as we don’t like to think about it, cold and flu season is as standard during this time of year as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s just part of life. With two youngins at home, this is an especially important time of year for our family to teach and practice good habits to reduce or eliminate our risk of illness. After all, who wants to forgo the family feast because you’re laid up in the bed with a fever and a headache? I definitely don’t want to be confined to my room when the scents of turkey and sweet potato casserole come wafting through the house in my general direction!
Here are some simple tips to keep your family healthy during the holidays: 1. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your friend’s hands. Wash your neighbor’s hands. Wash your kid’s hands. Seriously, I know you’re probably laughing right now, but I mean it. This is the most crucial step in keeping your risk of illness to a minimum! It is so easy to do, and it’s so easy to forget to do. Don’t forget to do it!
2. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Again, this seems really simple, yet how many people practice this? It’s an automatic reaction to cover your mouth or nose with your hands when you’re ill, but do you think to wash your hands afterward? I know I don’t, and the second I go to touch the remote or doorknob or shake someone’s hand (ick!), I’ve just spread my cold again. I’m trying to teach my girls to do this, and it works about half the time, but I know if we just keep practicing this will be a good habit that will be useful to them in the future.
3. Drink lots of fluids. My mother will get on to me about this one (because I’m absolutely terrible about it), but keeping your body hydrated keeps it happy! I know I feel a whole lot better when I’m fully hydrated, and I really think it helps keep the cold germs at bay.
4. Know when to use, or not use, medicine. If you haven’t heard by now, cold are usually viruses that have to clear out of your body on their own. Antibiotics from the doctor will not help you (and, in some cases, can actually harm you!). However, if your symptoms could be eased by using a little medication, I say go for it. When it comes to using medication on your children, be sure to dispense as directed and use your best parental judgement as well. Not all products are created equal, especially in terms of age restrictions and dosing. We tend to stick with Children’s Advil for temperature body aches, but I know that other cough and cold medicines are not age appropriate for them just yet. For more information on how to determine which product to use for your child and when, be sure to visit Pfizer’s Consumer Healthcare website where you can also get great coupons for up to $3.50 off your in-store purchase of select children’s cough and cold products.
What are your tips for keeping your family healthy this season? Share with me in the comments!
Disclosure: The Children’s Advil®, Children’s Robitussin®, and Children’s Dimetapp® product and information has been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All opinions are my own.