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7 Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy this Winter

Prevent winter flu with these tips.
Posted on December 20, 2023
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Winter is here to stay for a while and with it comes peak flu season. As we start the new year there is no better time than now to prioritize your family’s health and well-being. In this blog post, we’ll explore seven practical tips to help you keep your family healthy and protected from respiratory illnesses like the winter flu.

1. Focus on Flu Vaccination

The most reliable defense against complications from the flu is a flu shot. Young children and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable, but as we’ve heard time and time again from our families serious complications from the flu can happen to anyone. Ensure that everyone in your family, from the youngest to the oldest, receives their annual flu vaccine. This simple step of getting a seasonal flu shot can significantly reduce the risk of flu-related complications.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most healthcare insurance plans cover the annual flu shot as preventative care and it is often available at no or low cost to people who do not have insurance.

Find your flu shot at local pharmacies, primary care providers, flu clinics, and even through some employers. To simplify the search for vaccination sites, Vaccines.gov provides a comprehensive list, making it easy for individuals to locate the most convenient and accessible options. 

2. Stay Informed about Flu Season

Stay ahead of the game by keeping yourself informed about the flu season. Understanding when the flu typically peaks in your region can help you determine risk for public gatherings and travel. For those seeking a deeper understanding of the flu and its prevention, our website details the importance of annual vaccinations, dispels common myths surrounding the flu, and aims to empower individuals with the knowledge necessary to make informed health choices for their families.

3. Practice Good Hand Hygiene

Viruses often spread through contact, so encourage regular hand washing within your household. Make it a habit for family members to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before meals and when returning home.

4. Boost Immunity with a Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining a robust immune system. Eating the rainbow by consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

5. Promote Regular Exercise

Physical activity not only contributes to overall well-being but also enhances the immune system. Encourage your family to engage in regular exercise, whether it’s by going on a brisk walk after dinner, a family bike ride on the weekends, or a fun group workout session.

6. Create a Healthy Indoor Environment

Winter often means more time is spent indoors. Keep your home environment healthy by ensuring proper ventilation, maintaining cleanliness, and minimizing exposure to potential allergens. This can contribute to a healthier atmosphere and reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

7. Teach Respiratory Etiquette

Instilling good respiratory habits in your family members can help prevent the spread of viruses. This is as easy as using tissues or elbows when coughing or sneezing and testing when you experience symptoms to make sure that you do not unknowingly pass on the influenza virus to others. As we enter peak flu season, it’s important to keep not only yourself safe but friends, family, and coworkers, too. Both labs and doctors’ offices offer highly accurate tests that can help you determine whether it’s safe to be out in public. Find out more about your testing options on our website.

The influenza shot is a powerful tool that can form a robust defense against flu viruses when combined with these healthy habits. This flu season, incorporate these practical steps into your family’s routine to significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to complications from the winter flu.

Learn More About Families Fighting Flu

Founded in 2004, Families Fighting Flu (FFF) is a national, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization dedicated to protecting children, families, and communities against the flu through education about the seriousness of influenza. Our organization includes families whose loved ones have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, as well as other advocates and healthcare professionals committed to flu education and prevention.

In honor of our loved ones, we work to increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease and to reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year by increasing vaccination rates for everyone six months and older.  Learn more about our mission and resources here so that you can empower your family to stay healthy this flu season.

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