Your Lehigh Valley Pediatrician tells you how to protect your children from the flu.
With the winter winds already beginning to brew and flu season in full swing, your pediatrician in Easton and Lehigh Valley recommends following these tips for keeping your children healthy and happy this year.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many children (and even adults) don’t wash their hands properly or often enough. When flu season hits, hand washing is one of the most important habits anyone can adopt. Teach kids to wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, or teach them to sing the “Happy Birthday” song while they wash.
Also, washing up isn’t just for hands. It’s also vital to disinfect and clean toys, surfaces and remotes. Anything in the house that gets handled needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to decrease exposure to germs.
Nothing is more annoying than having someone cough or sneeze around you and not cover his or her mouth. This is certainly a major way to share germs. Therefore, it’s important to teach your child to cover his mouth or nose with a tissue and to dispose of the tissue immediately after. Always make sure your child has tissues on hand so this can be an easy habit to adopt. Also, teach your child to wash his hands right after sneezing or coughing to keep germs to a minimum.
Practice a healthy lifestyle
One of the best ways to keep germs and infections away is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This means getting regular exercise, eating well, and maintaining enough sleep to keep your immune system strong. Toddlers should be getting around 12 hours of sleep a night and school children should be getting at least 10 hours. Also, incorporating healthier food choices like fruits, vegetables and milk will help keep their bodies strong.
Opt for the flu vaccine
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months old and over should get an annual flu vaccine. While these vaccinations do not completely prevent the flu, it can certainly shorten the illness and lessen symptoms. Plus, it also prevents flu-related hospitalizations and other serious health complications. Talk to your Lehigh Valley pediatrician about whether the flu vaccine is a good idea for your child.
If your child begins to exhibit fever, chills, body aches or other symptoms of the flu, do not delay; call our office today. Nothing is more important than the health of your child!