It’s the season. No, not just the holiday season but the cold and flu season as well. Millions of people will contract or a cold or the flu in the next few months. So what can we as mothers do to protect our families from the flu? What about flu vaccines? How do we explain to our children why it is so important to stay healthy?
The influenza virus changes every year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) evaluate what form of the influenza virus is likely to be most prevalent each year and alter the vaccine to protect the general public from that particular influenza virus. This year, of course, we have H1N1 to contend with as well.
Unless your child has allergies to egg, flu vaccines are generally safe for children of all ages. If you aren’t sure if your child should take the vaccine, contact your pediatrician. Most children can take the inhaled (live virus) vaccines. It’s painless and quick. There is even an H1N1 vaccine that can be inhaled.
But vaccinations are not the only way to protect your family from the flu. Something as basic as handwashing can protect you and your children from many viruses, not just the flu. Hand sanitizer is another great way to kill germs when soap and water are not readily available and you can get one that hangs on your keychain or on your child’s backpack.
Children need to know that it is important to stay healthy so that they can get the most out of life. Tell them that a healthy lifestyle is a happy lifestyle.
Don’t forget the age old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
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