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Immunity Health & Wellness

4 Ways to Keep Colds and the Flu Away This Holiday Season

Your children are home, wanting to have fun with family, friends, and festive activities. And while that makes for a great holiday break, it also comes with germs and potential illness. 

Anna King

President, National PTA

Practicing basic prevention methods is the best way to protect yourself. Here are four ways you can keep your family as healthy as possible so you don’t spend your holidays sick.

1. Get your flu shot

This is the first step to keep you and your loved ones from getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual vaccinations for everyone 6 months old and up. If your family hasn’t gotten their flu shot yet, it’s not too late.

2. Keep eating healthy 

This seems impossible during the holidays, but think of food as medicine. Eating nutritious foods will strengthen your immune system and keep everyone feeling their best. Balance heavy party meals and desserts with green vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, whole grains, and water. Look for holiday recipes and snacks with these foods to make it fun. 

3. Get plenty of sleep

Your children will want to stay up late to maximize their holiday fun, but getting adequate rest is crucial to their development. So when you have a late movie or game night, try not to plan an activity early the next morning so you all can sleep in. Or take naps throughout your day. 

4. Wash your hands 

When children are excited, they sometimes forget to wash their hands thoroughly. Remind your kids that they should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds between activities, before they eat, and after using the bathroom. When you are out and about, make sure you have hand sanitizer, just in case. 

If one or more of your children gets sick, be vigilant; we know how quickly it can spread through the entire house. It may not be ideal, but isolate your sick family members and have everyone take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle. That short break could save you from a long period of sickness. 

If your child’s cold does not improve, and they have a high fever or seem lethargic, call your pediatrician.

I hope these tips help everyone stay healthy and safe this holiday season!

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