How to prevent flu in toddlers

The cold and flu season starts around November each year. Are your kids ready?

If not, they could end up missing a week or more of school, feeling terrible for days, and even worse, spreading the sickness to the rest of the family. Implementing the preventative measures now will certainly be worth it come flu season.

1) Most experts recommend getting a flu vaccination as the best way to keep from contracting the flu, but many parents are wary of the shot because they fear it can actually cause their children to get the flu. In fact, this is not true. Flu vaccination can create mild, flu-like symptoms such as fever, but it should last for no longer than the first 48 hours after receiving the vaccination.

If a child comes down with a case of the flu soon after receiving a vaccination then it is likely he or she was exposed to the virus before the vaccination has time to build up enough antibodies to fight it off. Because it can take approximately two weeks for the flu vaccination to really work, it is best to take kids in the get vaccinated several weeks before flu season picks up.

Consult your doctor or pediatrician to find out which form of the vaccination they recommend for your kids based on their age and other factors. Ask your doctor about a flu vaccination that comes in the form of a nasal spray if your kids are afraid of shots.

2) Even if your kids are vaccinated, they are not flu-proof and are certainly not out of harm’s way when it comes to the common cold. Promote frequent hand washing. It may be difficult to convince kids that they need to run to the school restroom to wash their hands during the day, so ask their teachers to be sure they are washing their hands after playtime, (both indoor and outdoor play equipment is covered in germs) and before snack and lunchtime.

At home, monitor handwashing behavior before they eat and any other time you deem appropriate. Washing hands is only effective at killing cold and flu germs when kids lather for at least 20 seconds so have them sing a little song while they wash to ensure they have spent enough time at the sink.

3) Disinfect your home. This is an easy way to keep germs at home under control. When it comes to toys that they use regularly, disinfect them thoroughly once time each week during the cold and flu season. Aside from toys, it is ideal if parents can take the time to clean kitchen counters, tables, desks, and other frequently used surfaces.

Household appliances are not exempt from the list of things that need to be cleaned. Telephone receivers are near kids’ mouths all of the time so they need to be disinfected as should refrigerator door and microwave door handles.

The earlier in the fall you start taking steps to avoid sickness, the more successful you will be because viral infections are not always predictable.

The earlier

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