Achooooo! It’s flu season! But did you know that most people in the United States get the flu in January or later, and the season can last as late as May? The flu, a cold virus, or strep throat seems to sweep my house this time every year. And it’s not fun. Just last week, all three of my kids were out of school for two days with strep. The amount of school work they missed will take a week to catch up on. As we all know, it’s not easy when our children miss out on school. We have to miss work, or their academic success is jeopardized.
Now that winter has officially arrived, it’s a good of time as any to review some important tips to keep kids healthy during the winter season.
- Stop the spreading of germs. Remind your children to wash hands frequently with warm water and soap. Before they eat, after using the restroom, or when coming home.
- Stay covered! Don’t let the cost of medical expenses prevent your child from getting the medical attention they need. Now that it’s flu season, this is a good time to review options for health and dental coverage. With Florida Kidcare’s year-round open enrollment, the time to apply is always now. Florida KidCare provides Florida families with free or affordable health and dental insurance coverage for children from birth through 18 years of age— with no application fee. The application process is uncomplicated for parents. Florida KidCare will match you with the right option based on your children’s ages, household size and family income. With year-round enrollment, you can always apply for Florida KidCare.
- Get the flu vaccine. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone above the age of 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against the influenza disease. Children younger than 9 years old who are getting vaccinated for the first time will need two doses of the vaccine.
- Don’t miss well visits. Preventive care plays a key role in staying healthy. Remember to schedule well visits for yearly physicals. Birthdays are the best time to ensure that milestones are being met and vaccines are up to date.
- Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can weaken immune systems. If your children have trouble falling asleep at night, consider playing sleep inducing music or rubbing some lavender oil on their pillow or temples. A regular sleep schedule is a great way to support healthy sleeping habits.
- Eat immune boosting foods. Foods rich in Vitamin C are great to help boost immune systems during winter months. Although most people will wait until after they have caught a cold to get some extra Vitamin C, it’s best to eat these foods regularly as part of a healthy diet. In addition to citrus foods, consider regularly providing your kids with foods like yogurt, berries, broccoli, garlic and ginger. Try one of my berry smoothie recipes you and your kids will love!
There is nothing like peace of mind knowing that you have taken the best steps to protect yourself and your children against the flu or other winter related viruses.
Have more tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!
Thanks to Florida KidCare for sponsoring today’s blog post. All opinions are my own.