Autoimmune Disease Management 101: Fighting Back

5 Tips For Helping Your Child Avoid The Flu

Children are more likely to catch the flu than adults because their immune systems aren't that strong yet. The virus can cause them to experience many unpleasant symptoms, like fatigue, fever, and coughing. As a parent it's up to you to help your little one avoid catching the disease. Here are some tips for reducing your child's risk of the flu:

Teach Proper Hand Washing

Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the flu and other viruses; however, not many children do it properly. Teach your child to scrub his or her hands for at least 30 seconds with warm water and soap. Remind your little one to wash his or her hands before eating and after using the bathroom and playing outside.

Discourage Sharing Foods and Drinks

Many children like to share one another's foods and drinks during lunch time at school. While this might sound harmless enough, it can actually spread germs. If your child shares food with a child who is currently sick, your little one can catch the virus. That's why you should tell your child to avoid sharing foods and drinks with peers.

Get Your Child to Exercise

Regular physical activity will do more than just help your child maintain a healthy weight. It can also boost the immune system, reducing your child's risk of getting sick. If it's cold outdoors, encourage your child to do exercises indoors, such as dancing or yoga.

Increase Humidity in Your House

The flu virus is more likely to survive in a dry environment. If you humidify the inside of your house, you can help keep the virus away and your child healthy.

Feed Your Child Healthy Foods

Diet plays a big part in keeping the flu and other viruses away. Certain foods, like yogurt, oranges, sweet potatoes, and blueberries, can boost your child's immune system and prevent him or her from getting sick. Instead of letting your little one snack on chips between meals, give your child a plate of fruit to keep the flu bug at bay.

The last thing you want is for your child to feel sick. Following these tips can help reduce your child's risk of catching the flu. However, if your little one still gets the flu, you should have him or her stay in bed and drink plenty of fluids. If symptoms don't improve after a week, make an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible.