Common Sense Checklist for Cold and Flu Season

Have the joyful sounds of Christmas music been replaced with hacks and sniffles throughout your house? Avoiding the germs that frequent the winter can definitely be a challenge, but it’s a battle that can be fought and even won in some very practical ways. In addition to frequently washing your hands, use this common sense checklist to keep your homeschool family healthy this cold and flu season:

Get a flu shot. So maybe you dread the poke, but reducing your chances of illness by 50-60% during the heart of flu season seems worth the sore arm for a day.

Know your products and medicines. Products like orange juice infused with calcium may sound good from a marketing standpoint, but calcium really doesn’t need to be in your orange juice. Plus, the extra calcium can actually inhibit your iron intake that you might be trying to get from a daily multivitamin. Be sure to read labels on medicines as well to make sure you don’t take more than one medication with the same ingredient at the same time.

Don’t push yourself. If you’re not feeling well, your body will benefit more from a day of rest than a day spent feeling miserable and pushing yourself to the brink. Sleep is very important as well. You should be getting 7-8 hours of rest every night.

Stay up on your fluids. Your activity level plays a key role in staying hydrated, but as a general rule, it’s recommended to drink half of your body weight every day to help flush out toxins.

Eat protein. “Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system,” said Dr. Douglas Kalman. “I make sure to get protein-rich foods through the day, especially fish, eggs, and yogurt.”

Try zinc. Though this mineral still has its skeptics, there is increasing evidence that it can help prevent or shorten a common cold. So the next time you have a scratchy throat, try a zinc lozenge to see if it helps.

Clean your phone. Other than your children, is there anything that comes in contact with your face or hands more than your phone? To sanitize your smart phone once a week, lightly spray a microfiber cloth with a half-and-half mixture of water and 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe down your phone.

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