Staying Healthy During Flu Season

I feel like I should be rapping my knuckles red on my kitchen table while writing this post, or perhaps keep rhythm on my wood floor.  The least I can do is whisper… We haven’t had the flu - yet.

The blechy 12-hour stomach bug did threaten our sleep on New Year’s Weekend, but that’s it.  No fevers.  No aches.  No chills.  No scary respiratory issues.  Yet.

If you’ve been reading here for long, you know my husband is a teacher and a coach.  Our oldest is in elementary school and our two middle children delight in their twice-a-week preschool.  Right now it’s prime basketball season, and when you live in Tiny Town, people worry about you if you’re not at the games.  All that to say, we are exposed to a ton of icky germs!

So how does a public school, Tiny Town, actively out and about family keep from getting sick?

I have no idea.

Truly, it’s by the grace of God, but we do take a few healthy measures just to make me feel like I’m taking care of my family:

  1. Vitamin D3. We all (but the baby) take a supplement.  One for us and one for the kids.
  2. Fruits and veggies. I don’t care that they’re not rock bottom prices, we eat fresh fruits and veggies daily.  Lots of fresh spinach, apples and oranges right now.
  3. Hand-washing. I preach it and preach it and have you washed your hands yet?
  4. Sunlight and fresh air. I kick the kids outside to play every time the temps are remotely tolerable and winds are anything below gale force.
  5. Nasal Cleansing.  Coach and I both do this at the first sign of congestion.  Even our oldest daughter can do it with the Nasopure system.
  6. Sanitizing every surface of my home twice a day. Hahaha — you know me better than that, right?
  7. Don’t stress. Seriously. There’s only so much we can do, right?  I’m one of those “germs build immunity” type of moms for the most part. 

If I wasn’t so cheap old fashioned, I might be able to add a #8.  I don’t have a fancy-schmancy smart phone, but if I did, I’d think about downloading the free WheresFlu tracker app from the makers of Theraflu® to keep up-to-date on the most active cold and flu reports around the country.  WheresFlu™ works on iPhone/iPod touch, Android, and BlackBerry. (The only blackberry I know is the one with the obnoxious seeds.)

It tracks weekly sickness incidence levels and tells of the current top 5 affected cities in the nation. The WheresFlu™ app will find your current location and provide you with results for that area. Or you can enter a zip code to get that info.  (I wonder if they’d have the stats for the 500 residents of Tiny Town?  I need to find someone with a smart phone…)

Wheresflu™ categorizes incidences of illness as follows: Low (0-5% population affected); Moderate (5-10% population affected); High (10-15% population affected); Very High (>15% population affected).  Old fashioned or not, that’s some pretty nifty technology!  If you have a smart phone, check it out!  (May as well, right?  It’s free!)

I almost hate to ask, but have you warded off the flu?  What preventative measures (if any) do you take?  Oh – if you’re willing to share, I’d love to know who my fellow “germs build immunity” moms are.  :)

This is a sponsored post through the Momtrends Blogger Outreach program for WheresFlu.

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Comments

  1. I hope your family continues to stay healthy!

  2. I’m not a mom, but I definitely subscribe to the whole ‘germs build immunity’ idea, and I don’t think that will change once I have kids.

  3. I am opposed to antibacterial anything unless I’m on my way to surgery. We are definitely of the germs build immunity camp. We wash our hands with regular soap and water often. We eat pretty well rounded each day. I wipe my toddler’s hands and face with a baby wipe after we spend time in public places (often with the intention of keeping the car/car seats clean, but the added benefit of keeping gross germs from finding their way into his mouth.) I am a big hot tea drinker. I am quite sure this helps wash any yucky germs lingering in my throat straight down to my super germ killing tummy acids! :)

    • Oh, I forgot about the hot tea! We drink lots of hot peppermint tea whenever we feel “off.” I read that about the germ killing tummy acids, too! (And I’m all of a sudden craving some hot tea.) ;)

  4. So far all we’ve had is the 12-hour stomach thing in December… and I plan to keep it that way! I agree with the fruits and veggies thing. I have decided that spinach is the best thing in the world to eat because it has so many much needed nutrients, especially for pregnant chicks! Also, I would add SLEEP to the list. (I say this as I’m commenting at 4:20am because I have insomnia… lol).

  5. Bonnieblue031 says:

    I am also in the germs build immunity camp. We do all of the things you mentioned and I do sanitize my countertops…when I get around to it.
    A couple of more things we do in the winter; get more sleep, we go to bed about an hour earlier. We have been made fun of for this but have not had a cold or flu in 3 years. My husband and I are in the age category in which we are recommended to get a flu shot. We do. I know there is controversy over that but the last time I got the flu, about 20 years ago, I ended up in the hospital so for me, I will take this extra step.

    • Ah… sleep. I’d love to get some more sleep! Actually, if I made it a bigger priority it would happen. There’s just always “something else.”

  6. do your kids take a multi vitamin along with the D3?

  7. I have always been a “germs build immunity” and we are really pretty healthy around here – no flu yet-knock on wood – and just one runny nose. (9 of us live here and are out in the world at work and school and sports etc).
    I never do vitamins but we eat butter and whole milk and coconut oil and lots of real food all the time. I think this helps – my kids do eat way more crap than I would like but they are mostly teenagers and make that choice themselves.
    I do keep the house cool – 67 degrees and they go outside all the time. I think that helps.

  8. I have one son – 9 months, I got him some Vitamin D drops so he gets the D3 as well.

  9. Vitamins (multi, calcium, and vita C), lots of homemade veggie soups, cinnamon/raw honey “tea” several times a week (don’t boil or microwave the honey–just heat lightly or it loses it’s healing properties), and when noticing anything starting to start–a few drops of wild oregano in our water. Since we adopted our two children from overseas four years ago, they have never been sick. Me–mostly forgetting to take the oregano when I feel my allergies beginning to change into more sinus problems and not getting enough sleep has gotten me sick a few times. I recently started the cinnamon/honey tea and my allergies are greatly reduced. Hoping the sinus crud stays away now too!

    • I’ve never even heard of wild oregano! I have much to learn.

      • It’s actually usually called Oil of Oregano, but you need to make sure that it is of the wild strains and that it is made for consumption. Many Oil of Oregano’s are made as a topical solution, but the ones that help with the immune system can be consumed (unless you are pregnant as oregano in large doses can cause miscarriage). You also don’t want one that is mostly olive oil and you need 30 drops to get results. Usually just a few drops in some water 1-2 X a day for several days is enough to boost the immune system. It is strong, but works.

  10. Definitely in the germs build immunity camp. Not that we go out of our way to find germs-I do like to wipe down cart and highchair handles for my 9 mo old who puts everything into his mouth and of course constant hand-washing. I thought we had avoided the germs this year-but all four of my kiddos and my husband came down with it this week! All at once-it has never happened like that before. Not sure if I like this get-it-all-over-with-at-once way or the one-at-a-time-but-it-hangs-around-forever way. It has been exhasuting but thank God for his grace and keeping me healthy. We do many of the same things you suggest-as well as breastfeeding my infant to pass along antibodies. Once the fever sets in I rarely give anything for it so that it can help fight the infection. I haven’t heard of the Nasopure thing-gonna have to check that out!

  11. Our family thrives on the essential oils and products from Young Living!! There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t drip something on us to ward off germs, or on a little ache or pain…they’re so wonderful to have on hand to tackle things when the germ is just starting to take hold, and you feel just a wee bit sick. Appy or consume the oils (they are 100% therapeutic grade, so they’re safe–I trust ONLY Young Livng oils!) Then “Whammo!”
    Usually overnightm, you’re well. The oils attack the invaders and your body has fought it off, naturally. The germs aren’t given a chance to become full-blown. Would love to share what I know with you…you can have a really good feeling…(to add to your knocking on wood…lol) that you are ready for the next “bug” attack! We have fought (and won!) an unbelievable number of “battles”…love to share such good news with others……PTL for YL!!

  12. I’ve been soooo thankful for our level of health this year. DD has asthma, and last cold/flu season was a nonstop nightmare that culminated in hospitalization. We spent 2010 figuring out a good drug regimen for her and implementing some dietary and lifestyle changes that have improved the entire family’s health. We’re taking JuicePlus, have drastically cut back on processed food, and are eating lots of anti-inflammatory foods like spinach and walnuts. We’ve always been big on hot tea, raw honey, and yogurt (we went 3 years without a tummy bug!).
    I try to be a “germs build immunity” mom, but, given DD’s history, it’s hard. Respiratory germs are her danger zone; everything else is pretty much no problem. So I try to strike a balance: I use ordinary baby wipes for wiping down surfaces when we’re in public (where she’s most likely to encounter the germs that are really dangerous for her), we use white vinegar and ordinary soap to keep things clean at home, and she bathes only when she’s actually dirty. I’d love to hear tips about not being germ-phobic from other moms whose kids have chronic health problems.

  13. Another tip is regular chiropractic-this is especially helpful for chronic illness or if you or your children have repeated cold/infections

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