It’s that time of the year. We’ve closed out the most wonderful time of the year, enjoyed the turkey and football of Thanksgiving, exchanged gifts with our nearest and dearest in December, and rang in a joyous new year at midnight on January first. The holiday season has come to a close and ushered in a new decade, and with that, it has welcomed that most dangerous time of the year: the dreaded flu season. You hear it everywhere you go- at the grocery store the medication shelves are emptied of Dayquil and Advil, your favorite diner or coffee shop is frustratingly understaffed, and the line at the drug store counter is ridiculously long.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. First, talk to your doctor at Kids First Raleigh and Clayton about getting the flu shot and then follow these simple steps for flu prevention:

Wash your Hands

 

It may sound obvious, but many don’t realize how important this little step is, and how focusing on this step can keep you safe from the flu. Wash your hands thoroughly and often or use hand sanitizer. Try and be sure to do so after opening a public door, shaking hands with anyone, or handling any kind of money. If you’ve pumped gas, wash. Touched a public railing, wash. This is especially important for those making use of public transport.

Eat Healthy and Exercise

 

There’s no substitution or quick fix for a weak immune system. Eating healthy, getting regular physical activity, and getting a solid night’s sleep will help you to build a rock-solid immune system that is less likely to cave into the flu virus. If you feel yourself starting to get sick, try and get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids and avoid alcohol and tobacco.

A doctor making a vaccination to a child

 

Here are the facts. The flu causes thousands and thousands of hospitalizations and even deaths each year in America. The flu vaccine is one of the most surefire ways of keeping yourself safe.

The flu vaccine works by developing antibodies that contain the flu virus which protects your body against infection. Seasonal flu vaccines are made to address strands of the virus that are anticipated for this specific season. The flu vaccine is particularly critical for those aged 6 months and younger, seniors, and those who are at a higher risk of suffering from the more serious complications that come from the flu. The best time to get a flu vaccine is as early as possible, especially because it takes about two weeks to kick in. Don’t wait until you start hearing those near you saying they’ve caught the flu, it’s better to get it done as early as you can. The ideal time is early fall, before the “start” of flu season, but getting it now can still keep you protected from this illness and has its own benefits.

Stay safe and healthy this flu season by following these simple and affordable tips. Don’t find yourself stuck in bed, absolutely miserable, with hot sweats, a headache, aches, and pains this winter. Stay strong and healthy, get your flu shot, and wash your hands often. Your body will thank you for it!

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