Seasonal influenza can be devastating for those with special health care needs, pregnant women, and medically fragile children and seniors. For the rest of us, the flu is just a frustrating illness that can put you out of commission for a week or longer days.
At Growing Healthy Together, we recommend living the months of November through March with a very “flu cautious” attitude. What does that mean for you?
Do I need the shot?
- YES: If you have a medically fragile child, a child with special health care needs, or a child with a breathing problem (like asthma or wheezing), we definitely recommend the flu shot.
- PROBABLY: If you have a premature baby or a newborn child less than six months of age, we recommend that all the caregivers for that child get the shot, as flu shots are not available to children under 6 months of age.
- NO: Those allergic to chicken eggs should not get the shot.
- MAYBE: Even if your child is healthy, and has no underlying medical problems, a flu shot can reduce the chances of your child missing school—and you, in turn, missing work.
There are two types of flu shots available: the Trivalent and the Quadrivalent. The CDC makes recommendations based on data collected throughout the globe as to which flu variants should be included in each year’s shot. At GHT, we always use the preservative-free version of the flu shot.
Tips for Avoiding the Flu
- Start out by washing your hands at every opportunity—especially after touching or coming into contact with someone, having visited a public place, after you blow your nose after you wipe the nose of your child or any time you are around coughing or sneezing.
- Eat right! Evidence shows that a healthy diet helps the body fight off infection from invading viruses.
- Wash your nose! It might sound ridiculous, but it’s an important step toward respiratory and sinus health. Use of a Neti Pot can be cleansing and effective. Saline rinses also work well, especially while in the bath.
- Keep the air in the home humidified to at least 50%. Both warm and cool air humidifiers work very well.
- Take supplements! Vitamin D, B12, C, Zinc, Echinacea, Omega-3 oils, and probiotics can all help you defend against, and prevent the flu this season.
- If you or your child gets sick, come see us at GHT, where we can evaluate you for possible infection, and also recommend safe and effective remedies (like elderberry syrup, for example) to help reduce symptoms and duration.
Teach your kids more about infectious diseases by downloading the CDC’s free graphic novel – The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak! Check out Shaklee’s Defend & Resist (Echinacea/Elderberry), Vitalized Immunity, Performance (Electrolyte Drink) products to prevent against the flu!