While we’ve seen mild temperatures up until now, which have largely kept the flu in check, most health professionals and care providers expect infections will increase in the coming weeks. In many instances flu season doesn’t peak until February and in some rare cases even March.
Here are 7 ways to keep them healthy this winter:
- Consider a Flu Vaccine
Whether you’re looking out for a student or are one yourself, the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as one of the most effective ways to safeguard against the virus. Flu vaccines are relatively inexpensive and are offered at drug stores, physicians’ offices and other healthcare centers.
- Harness the Power of a Healthy Diet
A good diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can go a long way in protecting students against a variety of illnesses. Encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch each day that includes things like oatmeal, fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Equip Your Student with Hand Sanitizer
Regularly using hand sanitizer can go a long way in protecting against a variety of germs and viruses. Give a bottle to students to keep in their backpack, cubby or locker and teach them when and how to use it, including after using the restroom and before eating.
- Reiterate the Importance of Not Sharing Food
Students of all ages tend to find themselves in situations where they’re sharing food with friends. From elementary aged kids sharing items in the cafeteria to college roommates sharing a slice of pizza, it’s important to let them know the health risks this can pose, not only during cold and flu season but throughout the year.
- Encourage Plenty of Rest
Much like eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest is one of the best things anyone can do for their health, yet research shows the average amount of sleep teenagers get each night is between 7 and 7 ½ hours, while they require about 9 ½ hours. Encourage students to get more rest each night and they’re likely to not only remain healthier but also perform better in school.
- Don’t Stop Exercising
Many people reduce their levels of exercise at the time they need it most. Cold and flu season may mean there’s a chill in the air, but it’s important to remain physically active. Encourage students to get plenty of exercises even if it’s not outdoors.
With a few of these practical tips, you can help combat the potential for illness this winter and remain on-track to healthy and happy winter.