Children get sick often, and it is easy to understand why. Between their still-developing immune system and constant exposure to germs from their environment, it is not surprising that colds spread quickly among young children.
When kids get sick, it is important for parents to recognize that the flu and the common cold are not the same thing. These two illnesses have similar symptoms and it can be difficult to tell the difference based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and the symptoms such as fever, body aches and runny or stuffy nose can be more intense.
According to the CDC, the flu can pose serious health risks, especially for children below the age of five. Young children, the elderly and pregnant women are especially prone to flu complications requiring hospitalization including inflammation of the heart or brain, organ failure and pneumonia. In rare cases, influenza can even be fatal!
Singapore’s Health Promotion Board has these suggestions to help you stay healthy and FIGHT influenza!
Frequent hand washing
Washing your hands helps to protect you from the germs that you come in contact with throughout the day. Be sure to use water and anti-bacterial soap to increase the effectiveness of hand washing.
The best way to protect your family from contracting the influenza virus is by getting annual flu vaccines. Ideally, this vaccine should occur 2 weeks before the start of flu season which in Singapore occurs from December to February then again from May to July.
Go to the doctor early
As adults, we’re all guilty of putting off going to the doctor because we always assume that it’s just a cold and we’ll feel better in a few days but by continuing to be sick, and furthermore, continuing to be contagious, you are putting the other members of your family at risk.
This is another one that we’re all guilty of. You don’t want to miss work or have your kids miss school and then fall behind in their classes, but staying home and resting when you’re sick is so crucial. Not only does it speed up your recovery time, it prevents the illness from spreading to others.
Tissues and Masks usage
By covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough, you’re significantly helping to prevent the virus from spreading. So many people cough or sneeze into their hands, but this results in germs then spreading to everything they touch. Additionally, using a mask during flu season helps protect you and your family from unwanted airborne diseases.
Visit the Fight The Spread campaign page to learn more about the best ways to protect your family.
Consult your doctor about setting up an appointment for your entire family to get their vaccinations in the weeks leading up to flu season.