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Uggh. . .dreaded fall and winter. Don’t get me wrong. I love all the seasons. . .some more than others. But when the weather starts cooling down and the leaves start falling off the trees I know I better start getting my family and my home ready for germs. . .and flu season. It’s a bit like a looming storm cloud each and every year. You never know how hard it may hit and you never know in what form, but the only thing you can really do, is prepare.
So, today (so everyone can gather their supplies), I’m sharing 6 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Flu Season. First of all, my disclaimer. I am NOT a medical professional, so please consult with your family doctor if you have any questions on additional steps you can take to keep your family healthy this winter. The ideas I’m sharing today are just how I prepare MY family and my home for whatever germs, viruses and nasty things may come our way.
- Review Hand Washing 101 Let’s face it. We do what we can to remind our kids to wash their hands before meals, after using the bathroom, etc. but even if they really DO wash their hands, are they doing it correctly? The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) recommends you use soap – then lather and scrub for 20 seconds or the equivalent of singing The Happy Birthday Song twice through. Take your kids into the bathroom and go through the steps with them. If you need a visual, ACI offers free hand washing printables that you can hang right in your bathroom!
- Invest in a Reliable Thermometer I have multiple thermometers and I’ve experienced too many times where I’ve gotten inaccurate reads. I take my child’s temperature one minute and it’s 100.4. I take it again seconds later and it’s 102.3. Not acceptable. I was recently sent the Braun Thermoscan Ear Thermometer to test and review. So far, so good. The reads have been accurate and according to many reviews on Amazon.com, others seem to be very pleased with it as well. When your child is sick, you want to ensure you’re tracking and monitoring a fever accurately.
- Talk to Your Doctor About Probiotics Probiotics combat bad bacteria by adding GOOD bacteria into your digestive system. I researched high and low for a probiotic for my family that would help protect us all from those horrible tummy bugs, or at least lessen the duration and the severity of the symptoms if we did come down with something.I finally found Tummy Tune UP by Beeyoutiful, that I couldn’t be more happy with. The probiotic doesn’t need refrigeration, you can take apart the capsules and just administer the powder for smaller children and there is hardly any taste to it at all. I give my family one of these per day and up to 2-3 per day if someone in the family were to become infected with a tummy bug. Just check out the reviews for this product and you’ll want some too! Beeyoutiful customer service is top notch and they have a full catalog of health products to choose from. I feel 100% more confident facing flu season with this probiotic.
- Think About a Flu Shot I don’t want to get into a conversation about beliefs around vaccines. I believe it’s every parent’s choice to do what they believe is best for their child. Every member of our family receives either the flu shot or nasal mist each October. We’ve never had any horrible reactions and we’ve never gotten sick following the vaccine. Our family doctor recommends it every year for our family for another layer of protection. This is just another one of those things that makes me feel assured that I’m doing what I can to keep my family healthy. For more information on flu vaccines, take a look at this article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Stock Up On Reliable Cleaning Products I know many people prefer natural cleaning products these days, and I don’t blame them, however, in the winter, during flu season, I want to make certain that I’m using effective cleaning products and methods. A bleach and water solution is often a preferred solution for schools and daycare centers and many of us use this in our homes as well. Beyond that, three cleaning products I couldn’t live without come winter are:
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – I keep Clorox Wipes in the bathrooms at all times. I try to wipe the sink faucet, toilet, toilet paper roll holder and door handles down multiple times per day during flu season. If someone in my family actually has a stomach bug, I remove any rugs in the bathroom, replace the hand towel with paper toweling and disinfect everyone’s toothbrush in the dishwasher each evening. This may be a bit extreme to some folks, but to me, it’s normal protocol to protect my family.
Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Spray– I use this spray year-round in my kitchen. I love that it’s gentle enough to use around kids, pets and food. When the kids are finished eating at the table or after I just used the counter top to prepare a meal, I use this spray to take care of any lingering bacteria or germs on those hard surfaces. Believe it or not, I’ve had family members that have actually used this on carpet and upholstery with good luck as well. Always test a small spot before applying to any large areas. I love that this doesn’t have bleaching qualities. It’s never discolored anything in my home.
Pledge Multi Surface Antibacterial Cleaner – We have glass tables in our living room that the kids touch A LOT. Every night I clean the glass tables with this spray to shine them up and remove those pesky germs that are lurking either on top of or underneath the glass.
6. Use Bed Mats to Your Advantage Whenever I mention using bed mats in times of sickness to other parents they always say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” When my kids aren’t feeling well or we’ve had some tummy bug symptoms. I put a disposable, waterproof bed mat on their beds just as a precaution and a more convenient way to help with clean up in the middle of the night if they have any accidents. I’ll put it right on top of the fitted sheet rather than under so I can just peel it away, throw it out and replace with a new one without a lot of disruption in the middle of the night.
I’d love to hear how you prepare your family for flu season and what products or tips are your favorites! Take care of you and your family this winter and prepare your home for whatever the season may throw at you. YOU can do this!
I have not been compensated for the recommendation of any of the products I mentioned, with the exception of the Braun Thermometer. All opinions are 100% my own.
Marlene Schlegel says
Sara, there is a lot of good advice here! Also please everyone be considerate and keep your children home when they are sick as not to affect other children. Also keep watch for this Mysterious Rare Respiratory Lung Virus that is spreading across the USA already in the Midwest states except right now not WI. A doctor on the news said he believes it will keep spreading. Children under 5 are most susceptible to it along with older kids and elderly that have asthma or breathing disorders. Starts as a cold but can be critical with coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. A lot of kids have been hospitalized already.
Thanks for the great info! I’ve also seen the news stories about the virus you mentioned. It’s so true that it’s up to us to try and keep our families healthy.
Julie Fiato says
Our daughter had a horrible reaction to Flu mist.
I’m sorry to hear your daughter had a reaction to the mist, Julie. I hope it was short-lived. Our pediatrician actually uses it for his 5 children and recommended it to our family. My children have had both the shot and the mist in past years and have seemed to do alright. Everyone can react differently to vaccines, however.