With flu season being here and the recent outbreak of the new Coronavirus I thought it would be a good time to write about my tips on preventing the flu and how I handle it when it does occur.
Needless to say that any parent with a young child is most likely freaking out at the news that the Coronavirus has arrived here in the sandpit and I myself will be keeping my family in the house unless it’s imminent that we go outside.
But regardless of any scary virus there should always be everyday preventive measures that we take to try to avoid any type of virus whether big or small.
1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
I know you’re probably like of course I do that, but you would be surprised how many people still neglect to do just that when out and about. Also be sure that you throw the tissue away after using it and don’t leave it in your diaper bag only to find it a few days later amongst your childs things. I mean that’s just gross.
2. Wash your hands people!
I know that with a baby it can feel like all we do is wash our hands but there is a reason for that and one that I don’t need to explain! It may be the most simple thing but it is really one of the most important and yes hand sanitiser is great for on the go, but try and manage to actually use water where possible.
Along with washing your hands, try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth as much. It is one of the quickest way to spread those nasties and so be sure to tell your kids as well to refrain from doing this.
3. Keep yourself and your family away from other who are sick.
A lot of the times we have plans to meet family or friends and then a few days before the meet up we find out that one of them had the flu but is recovering now with just a cough, and so we go anyway.
I myself have been guilty! But we really should refrain from meeting anyone who is sick and make plans for another date instead when they are all better.
4. Clean and disinfect as much as possible.
Try to wipe and disinfect and dirty surfaces as much as possible especially those that may have come into contact with someone who is ill.
5. Get your flu shots!
Make sure that those around you have had their yearly flu shots as it has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of catching the flu and other common viruses. And if your child is above six months then they should get their vaccine too!
6. Eat and drink well!
This is probably the one I stand by the most. I really believe that eating fresh, whole foods is one of the best ways to keep our immune system up and strong. We always try to have a bag full of oranges at home so that we can juice them whenever we have a meal and for the little one we have mandarins on hand for him to munch on.
Making sure we eat enough greens is something that a lot of us still need to work on and with all the calcium and extra nutrients it has there is no reason for us not to make the effort to incorporate them in our daily diets.
Now of course I understand that even if you do all 6 of the things I have mentioned on this list you may still catch the flu and that is just the way it is, however these tips have really helped me and my family in the past to beat the flu.
If are one of the unlucky ones to catch the flu then try some of these tips:
1. Again with the food!
We always make a huge batch of soup whenever one of us is sick and not only will it last for a few days but the nourishment inside of the soup is unbeatable. I have three soups that I will make on rotation;
- Chicken and Vegetable Soup
- Thai Soft Rice Soup with lots of garlic ( Jok )
- Beef and Beans Vegetable Soup
If you guys are ever interested in the recipes for these then just leave a comment and let me know.
2. Stay hydrated!
We will make sure to drink at least two and a half litres of water whenever we are under the weather and alongside that we will be constantly sipping on hot beverages. These range from plain chamomile tea to honey and ginger tea with freshly squeezed lime.
3. Keep covered and rest!
Easier said than done right? Especially if you have a fever it can be the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling so hot and sweaty but it is a must! Also don’t feel guilty staying in bed all day, your body needs to be strong to fight off the bad bacteria. So if possible get someone to look after the kids and enjoy your ‘me’ time.
For those of you who have a child who is sick or feeling unwell, breastmilk is one of the best things to not only soothe them but to help them recover faster. I remember when my little one caught a bug in Thailand and came down with a fever, all he wanted was to be on the boob and I truly believe that all those magical antibodies in the breastmilk helped build his immune system back up again!
I have also used breastmilk to help with my little ones congestion once or twice and it worked wonders! Just squeeze some breastmilk up their nose, massage gently to distribute the breastmilk inside and then suck all the yucky out with a mucous extractor! Talk about liquid gold right?!
5. Humidify when possible!
We actually don’t own a humidifier, however I have many friends who swear by it and it makes sense if you think about it. Bringing in moist air will help soothe nasal congestion and some of the pain in the throat and so it’s a good thing to have. We sometimes use a huge bowl with steaming hot water with a few drops of essential oil and that also helps us too. Whatever you do, do not sleep with the air conditioning on!
So overall these are my tips on how WE handle the flu, I would love to hear your thoughts and any tricks that you do to protect yourself during flu season.
Please stay safe everyone and take extra precautions during this time.
Love, Jessica Cairney.