Aussie winters can take their toll on even the toughest of us flu fighters, but they can be downright brutal on our little ones.
When our children get down about the sniffles, aches, a sore throat and a runny nose, we know it’s time to take action. One of the best line of defences I find works each winter is Saline Nasal Spray, which helps clear the nose of excess mucus and keeps the nose healthy from germs.
However, there are some other ways of preventing and treating that nasty flu and help keep you and your kiddies feeling well this flu season.
1. Stay In Bed
It’s common courtesy these days to leave your germs at home — and that means you, if you have the flu! There is nothing worse than sitting next to a person sniffling and coughing all over the place or seeing a sick child in school. You or your child will recover quicker if you stay in bed or on the couch, resting as much as possible. A full-night sleep will do wonders for fighting off the flu, and who doesn’t love a day-time nap?
2. Wash Your Hands (often)
All the sneezing and rubbing your nose with the back of your hand (don’t deny it) leaves them covered with germs and bacteria, ready to be spread throughout the house. Washing your hands with warm water and soap will kill off these nasties and stop the spread to other members of the house. If your child refuses to wash their hands, get them to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
3. Cough and Sneeze into your elbow
This is an important lesson for kids to learn, especially when they head off to school to prevent the spread of germs (and maybe teach their classmates a lesson or two). Germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, so muffling coughs and sneezes with your elbow will see less contact with people or surfaces.
On a side note: Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. If you refrain from touching your eyes, nose and lips, you drastically reduce the likelihood of a virus entering your body.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
The body’s first line of defence when encountering a virus is to flush our system, so to do this we need to keep our immune system hydrated to fight back against the virus. Drink lots of water or use a cool mist humidifier. Putting a few drops of anti-microbial essential oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus or oregano oil in the water can also help congested chests and noses clear out.
5. Bring on the Garlic Breath
Crushing or cutting garlic cloves releases a sulphur compound known as allicin, which has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that seem to block infections. Allicin is available only from raw garlic, however, so choose a preparation that calls for it raw, or add garlic at the end of cooking to tap its full medicinal power. The anti-microbial properties of both garlic, and its cousin, the onion, can fight off certain bacteria and viruses.
6. Try Nasal Spray
For symptoms such as a runny nose, you can use a saline solution to help aid congestion and clear airways. The saline nasal spray works by increasing mucus clearance by stimulating the movement of cilia, which are the small hairs that push mucus out of the nose. It also moisturises the nasal passages and clears crusts of mucus (bogeys/dried snot) from the nose. This prevents bacteria building up under the crusts.
However, if symptoms gradually worsen it may be best to seek out a professional opinion
7. Take multi–vitamins
Try to get one that has optimal levels and easily absorbable forms of these important nutrients: Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and B and C vitamins.
8. For babies…
Usually when a baby gets a cold or the flu, they will recover over a period of a few days or a week — but in the meantime they might experience some unpleasant symptoms. These are usually easily treated as your baby fights the bug off. Make sure you have some saline in case your wee one’s nose gets congested.
What do you do to fight off flu?
If you become concerned about any symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention – we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice – https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.