10 Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu this winter

With the flu season upon us, taking steps that may lower your risk of infection is your best defense against the fever, body aches and cough that the virus can bring on.

child hand washing

 

Prevention is definitely better than cure and there are a number of precautions you can take to minimise the chances of your family getting ill this winter.

Over the years we at London Mums have written lots of articles on health during the flu season so we have now made a list here below of all the relevant features in one overview.

Echinacea flower
1. Try Echinacea to prevent and fight colds.

2. Hand washing – Make sure the whole family wash their hands regularly with soap and hot water and encourage your children to wash their hands at school. Check out our simple hygiene tips.

 

3. Cover your mouth – It’s really important when sneezing or coughing that you and your family get into the habit of covering your mouth with a tissue (not a hanky!) to prevent the spread of germs. Don’t hold on to your tissue – bin it. It seems obvious but it’s worth mentioning it.

4. HUMIDIFICATION: Check our archive article on how to maintain a healthy humidity level at home.

Vicks_WinterHealthGuide_Cover

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity, also called moisture, is created by you, by your family and friends, by your pets and even by your indoor plants.
By breathing and perspiring and through everyday household activities such as showering, bathing, doing laundry, cooking or dishwashing, we produce water which evaporates into the air and raises the humidity level.

We need humidity for our comfort and wellbeing and too little humidity at home or office can produce a host of difficulties for the people living there. The problems that result may be just a nuisance that causes discomfort, but can be far more serious. Humidity affects our wellbeing and health, the structures of our homes and even our furniture! But because air is invisible, it is common to overlook humidity.

5. Eat well – Help your child to eat a balanced diet to make sure they are fit and strong and to build up their immune systems so they can fight off any nasty germs.
oranges

6. Eat garlic which is great to prevent colds. Here is London Mums’ very own recipe for Garlic Bread.

7. Asthma – how to help.

8. Vaccinations: Schools will offer a range of vaccinations for children to protect them from illnesses such as flu, measles, mumps and rubella. It is important to maintain these vaccinations to ensure your child is fully protected, especially for those with long term health conditions. Here is the government Immunisation against infectious disease: the green book.

9. Sleep well: Lack of sleep can lower our natural immune defenses. Try and get enough rest every day: 7 hours of sleep is plenty for an adult to be healthy.
Vicks_WinterHealthGuide_SleepingBoy

10. HYDRATION:

Water

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Water is important not just to prevent colds but also to ensure the brain can function properly. Evidence found that students who brought water into their exams performed academically better than those who went without. Water consumption had a physiological effect on thinking functions as well as alleviating anxiety that resulted in improved exam performance.

Water saving tips image

Adults need approximately 1-1,5 litres of water on a daily basis (8 glasses of water). The amount of fluid a child needs depends on many factors including age, gender, weather and how much physical activity they undertake but generally they should aim to drink about 6-8 glasses of fluid per day (on top of the water provided by food in the diet). Younger children need relatively small servings (e.g. 150ml per drink) and older children need larger servings (e.g. 250–300ml per drink). I have recently adopted a filtered water bottle for my son who can drink it at school. I used to give him bottled water but the waste was too great as the bottle got dirty so we had to throw it away before he finished the water. the filtered water system is perfect and saves some money too.

 

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