Friday, January 26, 2018

MOM LIFE :: Navigating Flu and Winter Cold Season

Flu season is now peaking in the East coast and we still have at least another month to go.  It started very early this year and I keep hearing about more and more cases.  As a Mom of two young kids, I worry about keeping my kiddos healthy through this season, specially since high fevers can be problematic with my youngest one.  I have a few tools in my bag that I wanted to share with you.  I am not by any means implying that my tools are the key to getting through the flu season unscathed.  Neither am I suggesting that you should start implementing them.  These are just my tips, based on what I've read and what our pediatrician has recommended thus far.

1.  VACCINATION ::  We all get the flu vaccine in October every year.  I mark my calendar and make sure everybody goes.  That way, I don't have to worry later on when the flu cases start.  I know the vaccine is not as effective every year, but it will help your immune system respond more efficiently to the flu virus which is a huge plus.

2.  SLEEP ::  This first one is easy to accomplish with my eldest-  she's 7.  She understands that rest is important and will go to bed by 8 pm.  She can easily get 10 hours of sleep a night.  With my toddler, it's another story.  We are in that phase where they don't want to go to sleep and they don't really nap that much.  Sleep is important because it helps your immune system stay strong so it is better able to fight infections.

3.  VITAMIN C :: Some cells of your immune system need this vitamin to perform their job well and ward off any viruses or bacteria.  In this season, I try to rely heavily on tangerines and oranges (which luckily they both love) for their fruit servings since they contain vitamin c.  Tangerines are also great to help develop their fine motor skills.  Peeling them is so easy for us but for a toddler it's a different story.

4.  PROBIOTICS ::  This is something new in our toolbox this year.  This supplement basically helps maintain the good bacteria in the gut in balance which will help modulate immune health.  Granted there is still a lot of research that needs to be done to fully understand how they work, but there is evidence to suggest that they have beneficial effects for gut health and immune system function.  If you don't want to go with a supplement, I would increase the amount of yogurt servings since yogurt also contains strains of healthy bacteria.

5.  ELDERBERRY GUMMIES ::  I will start these at the first symptoms of a viral cold.  They contain elderberry extract, vitamin c and zinc and can be purchased in the gummy format which is kid-friendly.  The vitamin c and zinc help boost immune cell activity as the body tries to fight off the viral infection.  The elderberry extract has been shown to have the ability to boost the immune response, specifically to viral infections.  I find though that you need to start taking this early on for a higher success rate.

These are my tools for flu and cold season.  Do you have any other tools you would like to share?  Please let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Thanks for reading!

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