Flu is one of the most common illnesses to affect the worldwide population. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 48.8 million individuals were affected by the influenza virus in the 2017 to 2018 flu season. These statistics only account for the US population, with almost one million hospitalizations caused by the illness. During the same period, an estimated 79,400 US residents died due to flu.
While flu is common, it is important for parents to note that there are certain steps they can take to minimize their child’s risk of being infected.
A Healthy, Immune-Boosting Diet
The immune system plays a crucial role in protecting the body against the influenza virus, which causes you or your child to develop the flu. In most cases, the immune system is able to fight off disease and pathogens by itself, but with a poor diet, the use of certain medicines, and the presence of disorders that affect the immune function, its overall efficacy may decline.
Eating a healthy diet with the right foods may help to give your immune system the boost it needs to keep the flu away.
One scientific publication explains that there are many nutrients and food-content that the body requires for optimal immune functionality. This includes essential vitamins and minerals that are known to play a role in the regulation of immune function. Additionally, the study also explains that it is important to make amino acids, as well as probiotics, part of your daily diet.
Practicing healthy habits is another important strategy for keeping the flu away – and stopping it before the illness starts taking over your entire household. A major issue with flu is the fact that the viral infection is contagious – very contagious in fact. Droplets are produced through sneezing and talking, as well as coughing. These droplets can cause the infection to spread.
Practicing healthy habits can help to reduce the risk of being infected in such a way.
If you are infected with the flu, try to avoid having close contact with your children. When you do sneeze or cough, place a tissue in front of your mouth or nose.
Make sure to use a quality disinfectant to clean surfaces around the house. You should also ensure you have a disinfectant soap available for the entire family to practice good hygiene when using the bathroom, before eating, and after playing outside.
Minimizing your child and the entire family’s risk of influenza can ensure you do not become infected during the next flu season. There are many strategies that can be put in place in order to stop the disease before it starts – and the sooner you start to implement these steps, the lower the risk of influenza causing illness in your household.
What has worked well for you in fighting the flu in your household?
Janeen Wood, FNP grew up in the Irmo/Chapin area and graduated from Chapin High School. She attended Utah State University on a track and athletic scholarship where she met her husband. She graduated with a degree in Public Health from Utah State University and a Nursing degree from Weber State University. She later attended Frontier Nursing University where she earned her Masters degree in Nursing. Janeen worked in cardiac care, critical care, mother/baby, school health, family medicine, and occupational health before opening Crescent Clinic in 2015. She is a devoted mother of three sons and enjoys working out and spending time with family. Janeen is passionate about helping others get well and stay well! She believes everyone should have access to quality health care and loves educating patients so they can feel empowered to make healthy lifestyle choices.