We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, and trick-or-treated our way through October. And earlier this week a Facebook post drew our attention to the fact that there are only six Mondays left before Christmas (excuse us, while we go hyperventilate into a bag over here).
Winter, and the end of 2016, is sprinting toward us. And while that brings plenty of excitement and holiday spirit with it, it also carries a prospect that’s much less enticing.
By now, you’ve probably already heard the rumblings of sickness in your office. What started as a tickly throat is now a full-blown, hacking cough, and like an episode of the Walking Dead, your office is slowly diminishing in numbers as the week goes on.
The kids and the parents in the playground are also starting to look a little peaky. We may have survived October, but flu season is upon us. Not only are we desperate to avoid illness in our families for obvious health reasons, for many of us, we simply don’t have time to get sick.
So what can we do to prevent it? Well, we can start by teaching our kids how to stay healthy.
Kids don’t always know how to look after themselves and avoid contracting colds and flu viruses like adults try to. And while we’re proud that they’re learning to share, having their bestie sip from the same water bottle as them during flu season may not be the best idea…
Let your kids know that the flu is spread by coughing, sneezing, and from hands and surfaces contaminated with the virus. Educate them on washing their hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. But most importantly, remind them that while coughing and sneezing into your hand or sleeve may help, the best way to truly defend against the flu is with the flu vaccine.
Even with the best intentions in the world, no amount of good nutrition, regular exercise, or washing of hands can prevent against the flu as effectively.
It’s important for kids to be vaccinated against the flu because the flu vaccine can reduce illness, days missed from school, and even hospitalization. Plus, it’s our responsibility to protect more vulnerable members of our family from the virus—like seniors and babies less than six months, who are too young to get the vaccine. Find out where you can get the flu shot in Ontario.
The flu can be serious a illness, and with the holiday season fast approaching, you don’t want to risk missing out on any of the fun that comes with it. Don’t spend the end of 2016 in bed—make sure you and your kids get the flu vaccine and stay healthy all the way through the winter.
This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions are my own.