How To Prevent The Flu In Children

Every parent dreads the flu season. Not only do parents have to worry about getting sick themselves, but they also have to make sure that their child doesn’t come down with illness. The flu is a nasty viral illness, and it spreads like wildfire through groups of children when the right precautions aren’t observed.

Many parents do not know how to prevent the flu in children and cringe at the mere thought of the flu being spread in school s these days. But the good news is that there are three simple steps every parent can take to make it through the season with a happy and healthy child so read on and soon you will be ready for the flu the next time it rears its ugly head!

1. Should You Vaccinate Your Child?

Vaccines are a controversial subject for many parents. On one side of the debate some parents argue that vaccines are filled with toxic materials and are dangerous for children to receive. On the other side of the debate, some parents argue that vaccines are necessary to not only keep your child healthy but to make sure illnesses don’t spread through daycares, playgrounds and classrooms.

This debate isn’t likely to be settled anytime soon- if ever. There are too many radically different ideologies involved to reach a consensus. There are a few things that you can keep in mind when making the vaccine decision for you and your child though that are pretty cut and dry facts.

No flu vaccine will make your child 100% immune to all forms of the illness. The flu vaccine will only protect against a handful of the most common strains of the virus. The strains chosen each year for the vaccine tend to be the strains which caused the most problems in recent years.  That is why it can be a very good idea to consider vaccinating your children every year as it is nearly impossible to say with certainty that your child’s immune system will be able to fight off this year’s flu virus.

Young children are one of the most ‘at risk’ demographics for the flu, but children younger than 6 months can NOT receive a vaccine, despite being at high risk for the illness.

While it will not provide the same level of personal protection against the flu as receiving the vaccine themselves, children are less susceptible to contracting the virus when they are in an environment where most other children and adults are vaccinated.

2. Fight Germs Proactively

While vaccines provide passive protection against the flu virus, there are still many proactive steps you can take to help fight the germs which cause the illness.

The most important active measure you can take is making sure your child washes and sanitizes their hands regularly. You don’t need to have your child washing their hands every five minutes, but make sure they clean themselves after handling shared items and before they eat. You also need to make sure your child doesn’t stick anything in their mouth (including their hands). Discouraging them from rubbing their eyes is also a good preventative measure.

You should also keep your child away from people who have already caught the flu. If many other children in your son or daughter’s class are sick, than consider keeping your child home for a few days. If there are other members of your family who are sick, separate your child from them until the illness has passed.

3. Keep Your Child’s Immune System Strong

The very best way to make sure your child doesn’t catch the virus is to keep them as healthy as possible during the flu season. Make sure your child gets plenty of good, healthy food. Keep your child exercising and active. Give them their vitamins every day. Minimize and manage their stress levels, and let them have some fun as often as possible. Just as you are most likely to get sick when you run yourself into the ground, letting your child get exhausted or worn out is a recipe for disaster during flu season.

These steps seem so very simple but in the end there can be no better advice for helping keep your children healthy and free from the flu.  If you vaccinate your children, promote clean hands and faces and provide and promote healthy meals and exercise, your child’s chances of coming down with the flu this season will be dramatically lowered. It’s great common sense and it’s simple too.

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