And in this corner…

School’s in full swing, the weather is colder and the flu bug seems to be creeping around every corner, time for the flu fighting gloves to come off.

Before I had kids I never got sick, okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I certainly didn’t get sick as much as when I had kids. There’s something about kids and bugs. And with this new flu strain, the H1N1 virus, you can’t help but worry about your child’s health and well being.

We haven’t changed our routines any when it comes to staving off the flu and colds and so far this season we’ve been lucky (knock on wood). Some of the things we’ve been doing to keep us bug free are:

  • Drinking plenty of water to flush the system and a good nights sleep so the body can re-energize (sadly that doesn’t seem to include me lately).
  • Keeping the fingers out of noses (which is much harder than it sounds) and ensuring finger nails are always clean and trimmed short (it’s amazing what can hide in my oldest daughter’s nails if not cut).
  • Blowing the nose to get ‘stuff’ out instead of sniffling and keeping it in.
  • Increasing the body’s immunity system. Checkout my review of Nayla Natural‘s Anti-Monster Spray immunity system booster
  • Regular and proper hand washing. This is a big one. To ensure my kids spend enough time scrubbing with the soap they now have to sing a song. A chorus of Happy Birthday and We Wish you a Merry Christmas seem just long enough. Only after the chorus can they rinse. Here are my two youngest to demonstrate (though my shy two-year old seems to have lost her voice, especially when she realized the camera was on her):

But sometimes even with the best intentions and practices kids get sick. If your child does get sick here are a few simply measures you can follow from The Ontario Ministry of Health:

  • Treat your child’s fever. Take off heavy clothing/blankets. Dress your child in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature at 20C (68F). Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and muscle pain in the dose recommended on the package (unless your doctor says other wise).
  • Treat your child’s other flu symptoms. Encourage your child to get plenty of rest. Use salt-water nose drops to treat a stuffy nose. (See my review of the non-medicated Breathe Right nasal strips for kids we tried.) As your pharmacist about over-the-counter medicines for cough.
  • Protect others from the flu. Keep you child at home until his/her fever has been absent for at least 24 hours and he or she is feeling well enough to resume normal activities. It’s important for your child to stay home if there’s a fever so that the virus doesn’t spread to other children. Your child can return to school 24 hours after the fever has resolved and he/she is feeling well enough to get back to normal activities.

If you’re concerned that your child has more than just a simple cold or flu, you can take The Ontario Ministry of Health‘s online Influenza assessment tool. The Ontario Ministry of Health has also set-up a pretty comprehensive flu section on their site. There you’ll be able to find details on the open flu vaccination clinics, tips on staying healthy, information on the H1N1 vaccine and more.

Here’s to winning the fight against the flu.

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central and received a Mom Central gift pack to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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