As a parent, keeping your family safe and healthy is of paramount concern. But you can't always be there to keep an eye on your child, especially when he goes off to school and is exposed to many different germs and potential viruses. The best you can do is ensure that he's prepared for whatever may come his way, and that includes the dreaded flu!
The flu is a respiratory infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza A, B, or C. A person is infected when he’s exposed to the virus-carrying droplets from an infected individual. This can be transmitted through exposure to a sneeze, a cough, or touching contaminated surfaces. In the Philippines, flu season is from July to December. Children between the ages of six months to five years are most vulnerable to complications from the flu.
Here are some tips on keeping your kid flu-free:
- Get vaccinated. You know what they say about a good defense being the best offense. Well, that's exactly what a flu shot is. Getting a flu vaccine just before flu season can make a world of a difference when you're dealing with children.
- Stay away from sick kids. Make sure your child is protected and isn't interacting with any sick children. The flu virus is highly contagious for kids and could be easily passed along without a thought in the world.
- Keep his/her hands clean. Teach your kid to make washing her hands a habit she practices regularly: after every trip to the bathroom, before meals, and when she gets home from school.
- Cover nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing. Should your child get sick, make sure she knows to cover her mouth when coughing and nose when sneezing to prevent the spread of the virus.
- No touching of the face. Make sure your child isn't touching her face or mouth too frequently. Observe her if she absentmindedly does this. If she's been exposed to the virus, the only thing that's stopping it from infecting her is what she does with her hands. If you notice that she can't help but touch herself, make sure she always carries hand sanitizer with her and see that she makes using it a habit.
- Keep surfaces clean. Use anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces in your home, like the kitchen counter, the dinner table, and especially the computer keyboard and study table where your kids tend to spend most of their time, and which are popular breeding grounds for bacteria and germs.