This post is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Orange County.
i know you have heard it a million times, but when it comes to keeping your family healthy during cold and flu season, the number one answer is WASH YOUR HANDS! it's hard to believe that something so simple can make the biggest difference in your wellness..but it does. i recently spoke to Dr. Michelle Solomon, a pediatrician at the Kaiser Permanente Orange County offices in Garden Grove, and she discussed some great Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. and i sure needed the reminder...i do not like my family to get sick or to be around germs.
here's the main reason i have been especially germaphobic this cold and flu season. we have a new baby in our home! and as a mom to a newborn, you can never be too careful. i can practically see germs crawling all over the place LOL! when my kids come home from school, they are pretty much sanitized. i don't want my baby catching the cold or flu....especially something like RSV. here are the tips i received from Dr. Solomon.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands
like i mentioned before, Dr. Solomon said washing hands is the number one way to fight off germs. but did you know that most people do not wash their hands effectively? first of all, it is not necessary to use antibacterial soaps. regular soap works just fine. you need to make sure you wash long enough – while washing them, sing Happy Birthday TWICE. that is the proper amount of time you need to wash them. make sure to use enough soap and scrub between the fingers.
you can use alcohol based hand sanitizers to fight germs, but they only work well if your hands aren’t visibly dirty. you also must use good technique – that means getting the hand sanitizer between the fingers, using a good amount, making sure your hands are completely wet with it and waiting till dried.
you can help prevent sickness by promoting good nutrition – eat healthy foods rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C. adults can try taking zinc supplements, however, they are not recommended for kids.
stay away from malls, enclosed areas, and play areas heavily used by children. and if you do visit these places make sure to wash your hands the proper way as mentioned above.
most doctors recommend getting a flu shot. if your child is 6 months or older, talk to your doctor to see if this is a good choice for your family.
What to Do When Someone Gets Sick in Your Family
when one person gets sick in the family, it's time to up the washing the hands. this means the ENTIRE FAMILY. make sure to not share anything....from food to blankets to toys. make sure that everyone is using a covering cough method – which is also known as the Dracula arm where you actually cough into your arm/elbow, not into your hand. if the person who is sick is stuffy, you can have them take a warm shower or use a humidifier. but always make sure the humidifier is clean. humidifiers can harbor mold and germs that can be spread. remember, just because you are not sick, you still can harbor virus….you can be A symptomatic. so do your best to not spread germs.
When to Send Your Kids Back to School
only send your kids back to school if they have had no fevers for 24 hours. this is a complete 24 hours...not just over night. make your child rest if they don’t look well. when it comes to teens, they tend to try to go to school even when they aren't 100%. it is not good to send them to school when they are sick because older kids can’t focus when they are. trust your instinct as a parent on whether or not your child is well enough to go to school.
i thank Dr. Solomon for giving me some great reminders on How to Keep My Family Healthy During Cold and Flu Season. such a caring and informative doctor. i have really loved getting to know all the Kaiser doctors that i have met during the past few months. if you have missed the posts i have written about them, here they are:
My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
When I Learned About Kaiser Orange County’s Prenatal Programs
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
the great thing about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, is everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. plus, there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. wow...this is the kind of service i look for in my healthcare.