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October 30, 2018

5 ways to help your child avoid the school nurse & stay healthy this flu season

Children's Health Flu Season

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It’s no secret that last year’s flu season was a tough one – especially for the state of Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, there were more than 121,300 reported cases of the flu in Pennsylvania during the 2017-18 flu season.

But it’s a new season! Experts agree that prevention is the best way to keep children healthy this flu season. From making sure your child is vaccinated, to ensuring they practice proper handwashing techniques. A few simple healthy habits can go a long way to stop the spread of germs this flu season and help them avoid a trip to the school nurse.

1. Get them vaccinated

It is important for people of all ages to get their flu shot, but it is especially necessary for vulnerable populations, like children. Ensuring that your children are vaccinated is the first step and the best way to protect them from this year’s virus – eliminating doctor’s visits and avoiding sick days. The seasonal flu shot is available at RediClinic, including the needle-free, nasal spray FluMist®.

2. Practice good hygiene

Teaching your children how to properly and frequently wash their hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of germs. It is also important to remind them to keep their hands out of their mouth, as that is one of the largest sources of germs and bacteria in our bodies. During flu season, it is especially important to regularly sanitize commonly used surfaces in your home, including kitchen counters, door knobs and your children’s toys.

3. Stock up on essential vitamins

If your children do not already take a daily multivitamin supplement, now would be a great time to start giving them one each morning. Making sure your children are getting the nutrients they need to promote a strong and healthy immune system, especially vitamin C, will be imperative this season. Other natural ways to build a stronger immune system would be to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into their diets, like citrus fruits, broccoli and ginger.

4. Make time for exercise

It can be incredibly difficult to squeeze in physical activity into our busy schedules, but it really should be a priority for your family for many different reasons. According to the CDC, children should aim to get one hour of physical activity each day. Not only will the physical activity help your children maintain a healthy weight, but it can help improve blood circulation while stimulating white blood cells, which prepares their immune system to fight off viruses, as best as possible.

5. Set an earlier bedtime

Research shows that school-aged children should be getting 9-11 hours of sleep per night. During flu season, this recommendation becomes even more important, given that studies have shown there is a link between the strength of our immune systems and the amount of sleep we get.

Flu season is a busy time of year, especially with the holidays just around the corner. Incorporating these five tips can help your child stay as healthy as possible. Though they may seem like small changes, these preventive steps are important to help keep germs at bay.

If your child becomes ill, the board-certified clinicians at RediClinic are available to diagnose and treat a cold or flu—getting your child in, out, and feeling better. Make an online appointment at your nearest RediClinic and be seen the same- or next-day. Clinics are open seven days a week, after school and weekends. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Find a RediClinic near you.

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