'Tis the season — Flu and COVID-19 season, that is. It has never been more vital to stop the flu and the spread of COVID-19 by getting your family’s immune systems in tip-top shape now. Whether you are single, have children at home, or looking to visit extended family during flu season, many of the same things that aid in flu prevention (along with other viruses) also can help keep COVID at bay. Here are some holistic ways to keep you and your family healthy:
1. Get into Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup, which you can find at most health food stores (or make yourself), is packed with immunity-boosting compounds, antioxidants, and Vitamin C. And it’s even something you can drizzle on your kids’ pancakes. Like any homeopathic remedy, be sure to check with your pediatrician first about the right dosage.
2. Get a Lot of Rest, Exercise, and Fluids
These are the basic foundations for maintaining health—and it’s important your family get a healthy dose of all three this time of year. So, take away that tablet and send them outside to play. If you live in colder climates, you may choose to enroll your kids in a class like gymnastics or ice skating. You can also engage in some indoor exercise (like a dance party, hula hooping, or DIY Olympics) and especially now with COVID on the rise, some outdoor activities for the family.
Avoid over-packing their days by giving them plenty of recharging downtime. Prioritize sleep (The National Sleep Foundation has some good guidelines to follow), and make sure they’re drinking plenty of water and fluids.
3. Say No to Sugar
As a blanket statement, a lot of sugar is never ideal for your family’s health. Our bodies have trillions of good kinds of bacteria that help protect us from germs or diseases. But when kids (or anyone, for that matter) consume sugar in excess, it can alter the balance between the good and bad bacteria—which can takea toll on the immune system. So, limit the sweet foods within your household.
4. Introduce Probiotics and Fermented Food
Speaking of healthy, immunity-boosting bacteria, a great way for your family to get more of it is to integrate probiotics into their diet. For example, kefirs and some types of yogurts (choose a low-sugar option) are a good option, as are fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickled vegetables.
5. Sip on Some Bone Broth
Bone broth is a top health craze, endorsed by nutritionists and celebrity influencers alike. And for good reason. It’s rich in minerals (from the bone marrow) that support the immune system. It’s best to make yours from scratch (using an actual bone) to get the full nutritional benefit. Adding noodles or pasta to the broth can help make it more appetizing for your kids.
6. Wash Hands (Very) Often
Get hyper-vigilant about your family’s hand-washing habits. Runny noses will soon be running rampant, which means germs are everywhere, especially at places like daycare and playgrounds. Carry disinfectant (you may opt to pick a brand without tons of chemicals) and be a hand washing stickler.
How to properly wash hands per CDC Guidelines: follow these five steps every time:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
7. Regularly Clean and Disinfect Frequently
Don’t forget that the viruses can live on common surfaces that we touch frequently throughout our day, and according to the CDC, this is an easy way to help prevent the spread of the flu virus. Always remember to disinfect your personal items like phones, iPads, and computers, along with household surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, and light switches — not just once a day, but throughout your day to stop the flu.
While you can never completely safeguard your family against the flu or COVID-19, these tips may improve everyone’s chances of staying healthy. In the unfortunate event that someone in your family this season does experience flu or COVID-like symptoms—you can quickly make an appointment with a local, reputable doctor on Solv.
Posted by Michael Barber, September 03, 2021 (last updated on September 13, 2021)