Knock wood, I’ve survived the back-to-school season completely healthy. Maybe it’s because my boys are getting older, but I think this is the first time something hasn’t run through our family in the first few months of getting back to school.
We got lucky with the back to school germ mixing, but I won’t roll the dice on flu season. Our family will, once again, be rolling up a sleeve for a shot. It’s common sense, really. In 2015 more than 5 000 Canadians were hospitalized with the flu, including more than 1 500 kids.
I protect my family against the symptoms, but more importantly I’m fighting the flu for those with weakened immune systems who can’t get shots. I don’t want young babies, people with compromised immunity, or the elderly (like my 93 yr old grandfather) to get sick.
There is such a thing as a ‘fall spike’ in illnesses and this year is shaping up to be a nasty flu season. A leading indicator is what happens in the Southern Hemisphere ahead of us, and officials in Hong Kong and Australia say they had one of the worst flu seasons on record.
“The key thing with influenza is that it’s predictably unpredictable but a few arrows are pointing in the direction that this may be a bit more on the rough side for influenza seasons,” Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a tropical infectious disease specialist told Global News.
Scientists follow the flu developments to help them prescribe vaccines before flu season comes to our region. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t have an exact match, but even if the vaccine is a mismatch, those who get the flu shot typically end up with milder symptoms if they get the flu.
To help keep your family healthy throughout the school year, follow these easy tips:
- Eat Well: it’s important to make healthy food choices all year, but even more so during cold and flu season to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs. Stock up on citrus for Vitamin C, beans and legumes for protein and zinc, and nuts and seeds for Vitamin E.
- Wash Your Hands: It’s not just a parental nag, it’s the right thing to do. Training your kids to do this often – especially at school – could save the entire family
- Know When To Stay Home: I have major guilt about skipping work for being sick, but sometimes you need to do just that. As soon as your temp passes 100, you’re quarantined until you’re fever-free for at least 24 hours.
- Get the flu shot: This is the best way to cover off all your bases. Flu shots should always be part of your fall health care plan.
In addition to getting family flu shots this year, I’ve partnered with Loblaws as part of The Flu Crew to share helpful tips and insight throughout flu season. I’ve made an appointment with a Registered Dietitian at a Loblaws store to get more insight, and I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned at #Fluless!
This post is sponsored by Loblaws