Moms are busy, and the flu can sideline even the most dedicated domestic superhero. From nasty germs riding home from school and daycare on sticky hands to that flu-laden cart at the grocery store, it’s shocking we haven’t developed an iron-clad immune system by now. Even if mom is the last one in the family to get sick, put these three easy steps into action to battle the sniffles, and keep your family healthy this flu season.
3 Steps for Keeping Flu Season at Bay
Image via Flickr by Vansterpartiet
Get a Flu Shot
Your super-mom mission is to keep the flu at bay, so before you succumb to fever and chills, consider getting the gold-standard flu shot. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone in the family over six months of age — and yes, even needle-fearing dad should get one.
Flu season usually runs from October to May, and the best time to get your shot is as early as possible. This time gives your immune system a chance to develop protection against the virus. The vaccine is safe and effective, and it doesn’t make you sick because it contains a weakened or dead form of the bug. It’s one of the best ways you can keep your family from getting sick.
Clean up Your Indoor Air Quality
Even mom’s magic kisses can’t heal all your family’s ails. You might have to call in the big guns with an HVAC technician that can help prevent the spread of influenza through the house. By using your home heating and cooling system to control humidity and filter germs, dust, and allergens from the air, you and your family will breathe easier.
Lubbock, unlike most of Texas, has very low humidity levels and is the ideal environment for viruses and bacteria to thrive. Healthy humidity levels make it difficult for the flu to spread, while your HVAC unit’s built-in filtration system catches harmful particles as they pass through the system. Choose a filter designed to purify the air with a finer mesh-like structure that catches harmful viruses. Many modern purifiers also release an electric pulse that neutralizes any harmful organisms trapped in the filter’s fibers.
Pay Special Attention to Hands
Save the day and take matters into your own hands by encouraging everyone in the family to wash up regularly with soap and water. Good healthy habits like clean hands help stop the spread of germs. If you’re out and about with the kids, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often if someone in the car is sick. While soap is best, sanitizer is highly effective against the H1N1 influenza virus.
Wipe down counters, door handles, computer keyboards, and any other surface that your hands frequently touch with a bleach-based household cleaner. While flu germs can only live about 15 minutes on a tissue, they can survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours.
As flu season approaches, don’t try to fight off illness with sheer willpower. You have work to do, kids’ schedules to juggle, and date night with hubby. Practice these three easy steps, so you don’t get sick.