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Fighting Off Cold and Flu Season

How can we avoid it for as long as possible?

Lilliana has been hacking during the night for a few nights now, she has dark circles under her eyes, and her energy level is down, though she has gotten enough sleep.  I actually think now it may be a reaction to the changing seasons and maybe allergens, thank goodness, but all I could think for a day or two there was, "Oh great!  Here comes the practically unending season until next spring."

Once it starts, it seems like she barely gets over one before she starts to come down with another one.  It's terrible!  And, after she gets it, inevitably she gives it to one of us as well.

We taught her to cover her mouth when she coughs by coughing into her elbow, which is the recommended way to slow the spread of germs.  That way she isn't coughing onto her hand and sharing it with the next kid.  And the school has hand sanitizer everywhere and uses it frequently, but once it starts it just goes round and round the school.

The school has a policy of not sending your children in if they have a temperature above a certain level, too, and you have to keep them home 24 hours after it comes below that.  But, I am of the mindset that if she has a temperature at all I keep her home.  To me, that just means she is fighting off something and I don't want to expose the other kids to whatever it is.  I discovered last year from a nurse at the pediatrician's office that some moms are dosing their kids with ibuprofen or Tylenol and sending them in anyway so no one knows about the temperature.  How rude is that?!  How inconsiderate to expose my child and other children because they couldn't be inconvenienced to keep their child home!

I am a believer in vaccines, though I know not everyone is, and the CDC recommends children older than 6 months should be vaccinated before flu season begins, preferably sometime around September or as soon as the new flu vaccines are released.

To otherwise help avoid the spread of cold and flu germs, it is recommended to wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes and nose, and discourage drinking from public water fountains.  Teach children to cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or into their elbow when that's not available.  If it's not always possible to wash hands, it's recommended to use a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  I always have a little bottle hanging off my purse for quick access.  You'll just need to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize to minimize dry hands.

Although it's probably impossible to avoid the altogether, following these guidelines will help minimize the exposure and spread of germs.  I hope these few guidelines help to fight off your cold and flu season for as long as possible.  Good luck.

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