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OT: How Do You Protect Your Family From the Flu?

Posted by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM
  • 9 Replies

5 Surprising Ways to Prevent This Year's Nasty Flu

Posted by Jacqueline Burt

honey lemon teaBy now, you've no doubt heard all about how this year's flu epidemic is reaching, well, epidemic proportions. And besides being widespread, sounds like it ain't a pretty strain (or strains) of flu this time around, either. Maybe you've already experienced the flu, maybe you were first in line for the flu shot, maybe you're contemplating getting a flu shot but your doctor is wiped out of stock ... whatever your current flu status, you're probably wondering what else you can do to prevent the flu (or any of the other nasty bugs lurking out there).

Thankfully, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself and your family, and they really do work -- although some of these tips might take you by surprise.

1. Practice "respiratory etiquette"

It's the new catchphrase used by hospitals and other professional healthcare facilities, and it's pretty much an updated version of the old common sense rules: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soap and water, especially before eating, etc., plus interesting new info about disinfecting surfaces (cold and flu germs can live for HOURS outside the body) and be sure not to share ANYTHING, even towels, with someone who's sick.

2. Gargle with Warm Salt Water

I swear my grandmother is looking down from Heaven and laughing at me right now, because this was her go-to advice whenever I got sick as a kid (and I HATED it). But people who gargle with water a few times a day are one-third less likely to catch colds; salt and warm water once you're already sick helps clear the virus out of your throat.

3. Drink hot tea with honey and lemon.

Again, old common sense wisdom backed up by modern science -- hot drinks "stimulate digestion, ease cold and flu symptoms, and give your immune system an extra kick," honey (particularly darker varieties) has such strong antimicrobial properties it's been shown to reduce risk of flu infection, and lemon adds Vitamin C and antioxidants.

4. Use a nasal spray or neti pot.

These work the same way gargling does, except personally I don't mind these as much (I seem to be in the minority with this preference, however!).

5. Try brewer's yeast.

This time, it's my mother who's laughing at me. Apparently sprinkling a teaspoon of brewer's yeast on your food every day can really boost the heck out of your immune system, which is why, I suppose, my mother did exactly that to her food when I was a kid (personally, I hated the smell and wouldn't touch the stuff). Sigh. You were right, Mom.

Do you have any surprising ways to keep protect your family from the flu?

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM
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by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Protect them from the flu? 

I've taught my kids to use their butt or arms to open doors, not their hands. 

We don't touch our face after we've been out in public until we've washed our hands thoroughly.

We stay away from sick people, even those with colds.

We eat foods rich in vitamin C...and D.

Getting fresh air is important.  Get outdoors and deeply inhale that cold air!  It's much better than the stuffy, germ-infested indoor air.

As for treating symptoms, COLD drinks are better than hot drinks.  Hot drinks increase swelling and inflammation of tissues upon contact.  Cold drinks reduce it.  I increase fluid consumption to keep the mucous from getting thick.  Spicy hot foods are great for getting the mucous to flow, too.  I discourage nose-blowing because the force of blowing one's nose forces infected mucous back into the sinuses to continue to grow and fester.  We wipe instead (except for DH, who can't get the facts through his head.)  We up our vitamin C while sick, and there's a lot to be said for vegetable-rich homemade chicken soup.

by Jen on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing!

I use wipes or spray on hands when we are out so dd doesnt bring too many germs home.

I was jackets often. Humidifers on alot while sick. Try not to use hands to touch doors. Lysol everything every night while we are sick. Tons of fluids. Teaching dd to sneeze or cough on her arm not hands or let it go freely (this is a challenge lol)

And lots of rest fot the sickies
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by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM

We normally don't do the flu shot.  I did hae to get one this year because I was hospitlaized.

We do many of the above things.  I use a neti pot.  I have my family drionk a warm drink I make out of ginger hiney and lemon for their throats.

I use peppermint and/or eucalyptus EO (depending on the severity of stuffiness) in a diffuser to breathe better.

We all take daily vitamins.

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:50 PM

All of the above mentioned. Try to eat  healthy, lots of Vitamin C, garlic, etc.  My children get in the car after school and I hand them the hand sanitizer.  Then after they unpack their backpacks they go wash up.  Stay home as much as possible!  We go to church and in the winter it seems people come even when they are sick.  It drives me nuts!  Sometimes I just don't go, and I know thats wrong but when your up with a one year old week after week who is do what you can to protect them.

by 80sTardisGirl4Gore on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

wash hands...take well

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM
We eat healthy and juice and dont worry about germs. When your body is protected by nutrients your immune system is high. Then its a good time to LET the germs in because you build natural immunity to viruses. The more you try to avoid germs the less your body builds immunities too. Practice good basic hygiene and fill you body with vital nutrients!!
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by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I don't really.  Living in MN where it's cold 1 day, raining the next and guess what now it's snow it seems like you can just get sick because the weather changes by the hour.

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Wash hands

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Cover mouth when coughing.

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