It’s cold and flu season….take charge now!
The new year is in full swing… Flu season is worse then ever and the effectiveness of the flu vaccine keeps going down every time I listen to the news. Influenza occurs usually during the cold months of the year here in the U.S. The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.
As working mothers, we have no choice, but to have our child in a daycare center, home care facility or with an independent baby sitter. With each of these scenarios; there are just no escaping germs unless you wrap your child in a saran wrap plastic bubble…. (Just kidding!) According to research some germs are good for children because it helps to build up their immune systems. However…..How do we remedy the good ole “bad germs?”
Encourage your children to wash their hands very often and to avoid putting their hands near their eyes, nose or mouth. Make sure everyone sticks to a good bedtime because rest is crucial part of staying healthy! If your children have asthma make sure they are using their peak flow meter often and chart their readings so you can spot any issues quickly. Make sure you have a rescue plan in place for when problems do arise.
What are parents to do when you have an infant? Well….according to my pediatrician there is not very much. I’m not one to push antibiotics on my child; I prefer to do an all natural approach. Since the contents of VICKS BabyRub are not preferred for infants; my pediatrician told me about an “all natural” approach for nasal congestion and coughs. It’s recommended to use a combination of grape seed oil and tea tree oil. You rub the oils and apply on your child’s chest and feet. It’s also suggested to use socks or footed pajamas. This has the same results as VICKS VapoRub, but without the ingredient of menthol!!
If you have concerns about your infants breathing during the night; it is a great idea to use a vaporizer. The vaporizer moisturizes the air with steam to help alleviate the symptoms of chest congestion. Since the water has been boiled, there is a tiny increase of bacteria and mold. We have found the steam output is dependent on the mineral content of the water. The content’s in the VICKS VapoSteam for humidifiers is also not preferred. My pediatrician also suggested an all natural remedy by adding ten drops of eucalyptus oil with the water in the vaporizer.
Where can I find eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil and grape seed oil? They can be found at your local vitamin or health store. I was able to get everything in one stop at Vitamin Shoppe. Just a heads up…. be prepared to spend money, because this is an “all natural” remedy.
Just a few safety tips when using a vaporizer:
- Teach your child that the vaporizer IS NOT A TOY! It contains HOT water and can harm you.
- Use fresh water only
- Unravel cord before use
- Plug cord into 110-120 Volts AC outlet in good condition… (Do not use extension cords!)
- Make sure to keep 4 feet away from child’s bed/crib so they are not burned by hot steam.
- Place on a flat surface that won’t be damaged by heat or water.
Tips for caring for your vaporizer:
- Over time the electrodes will become encrusted. The minerals need to be removed from the electrodes to maintain peak efficiency.
- After each use empty unused water from the water container.
Wipe dry with clean cloth
There are both Cold and Warm Mist humidifiers. Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier by Germ Guardian – The model that is listed above is the There are so many reasons we chose this ultrasonic humidifier over others! First, it’s completely self-cleaning – no constant scrubbing, no replacement filters, no worries about potential mold and mildew. Second, it releases both warm and cool mist, so it’s like getting two humidifiers in one. Third, it’s virtually silent (you have to hear it to believe it!). Finally, it’s by Germ Guardian(R), a company that’s earned our trust. Runs up to 55 hours on one gallon of water. With low water indicator light and soft glow nightlight. I am getting this model to get me through Flu season!
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. In addition, you can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.