Reading, writing, arithmetic and…the flu? Yep, back to school means back to being exposed to a variety of germs that can often lead to the flu. Getting the flu is extremely unpleasant, as you may know, so you should do what you can to make sure your family is safe from it. So….what should you do?
First off, know the symptoms of the flu:
- High-grade fever
- Achy muscles
- Stuffy or a runny nose
- Symptoms usually last for 7 to 10 days
What measures should be taken now that you know what to look out for?
Now you’ve hit the point where you know what to look out for, but you need to know who. You might be thinking that it’s pointless to get the vaccine because you and your family fight it off easily, and you are all very healthy people. However, there are some people out there who struggle to fight off viruses like the flu, so being unvaccinated could potentially harm those who are:
- Younger than 5 (especially younger than 2) years old
- 65 years and older
- Have asthma, obesity, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, endocrine disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders
- Have HIV or AIDS
- Have Cancer
- On chronic steroids
You might come to contact with at least one of these people every day, and if you have the flu but don’t feel sick, you are practically handing people the flu. Wouldn’t you feel bad for giving someone at high-risk a virus? This is why you should take precaution.
What action should you be taking?
If you have children in school, let them know what the flu is. Explain to them why they don’t want to have it. Encourage them to drink lots of water, not just in the summer. Dehydration makes it hard for your immune system to fight off foreign pathogens. Cold weather doesn’t help, either. Your body will be working overtime, which is very draining, and by becoming weak, a virus has the perfect opportunity to settle in.
Also, make sure you wash your hands frequently, or sanitize them, if you are in constant contact with public areas, because not everything you touch is as clean as it looks.
Children, especially, need to sanitize themselves the most, since they don’t find it an issue to be in close contact with each other. Have them wash their hands and faces first thing when they come home, to not hold onto the germs from school. If you’re really keen on preventing those germs from staying, have them take a hot/warm shower.
What can you do if you get the flu?
Still follow the above tasks of hydrating and constantly washing your hands. However, you now need to make sure to rest. Your body will be working overtime trying to fight off the infection; therefore, the flu can make you feel very weak. When you get the rest that you need, your body will be able to work its hardest to fight the infection.
You can also take Tamiflu––a medication available at Orchard Hospital––a few days after catching the flu that can reduce the number of days you have the virus, though it won’t cure it.
Now the dreaded vaccinations…
It’s no surprise that there is a fear of receiving vaccines; there are so many myths about them that are spread around. A big one is that keeps circling around is that they actually make you sick. That’s not exactly true. When you are vaccinated, you receive a small dosage of the virus so that your body can learn to fight it. Since your body is learning this, you may feel soreness, tenderness, nauseous, and you might be a bit red. That’s completely normal, and that’s how you develop the immunity!
Why get a flu shot?
It’s safe and effective, protecting not only yourself, but those around you who may be more susceptible to getting the flu. If you’re hesitant to get the flu shot, we can give you more information regarding flu shots, discuss a schedule that works for you, and address any health concerns you may have.
If you’re ready, head to your local flu clinic and start protecting yourself and those around you right away. Walk-ins are welcome at our Gridley and Oroville Medical Specialty Centers – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic!
What you can do for your kids from home…
Remember when your kids go to school, you won’t be there with them to have them wash their hands every time they interact with something that might be dirty. So what can you do?
You should give a hand to your kid’s immune system by packing them:
- Citrus Fruits––Vitamin C
- Red Bell Peppers––Vitamin C
- Chicken/Turkey––Fights Infections
- Dark Chocolate––Defense System
- Nuts/Seeds/Beans––Boosts Immune System
- Strawberries––Covers Daily Needs
- Sweet Potatoes/Cantaloupe––Neutralizes Toxins
Click here for more ideas of what to eat when you have the flu!
You can also pack a thermos of black, white, or green tea that they can drink throughout the day! If you want to include less school-lunch-like flu fighting foods into their meal, check out this soup! It will go great in a thermos, and taste great, too!
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.