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Avoid "germy" hot-spots: We can't keep kids home from school or in a hermetically-sealed bubble, but avoiding unnecessary places where germs are more common (i.e. playgrounds and play areas, public restrooms, shopping centers, restaurants) can help limit exposure. If you do go out to one of these venues, come prepared; bring disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, urge children to keep their hands away from their noses and mouths, and encourage frequent hand-washing.
Vaccinate: Keeping your children's vaccinations up-to-date is critical. Ideally, the vast majority of people over 6 months of age would also receive a flu vaccination each season to limit outbreaks, but at a minimum the following populations should receive an annual flu vaccination:
- People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
- Pregnant women
- People younger than 5 years (and especially those younger than 2), and people 65 years and older
- Household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
- Household contacts and caregivers of infants less than 6 months old
- Health care personnel
The flu shot is NOT approved for infants under 6 months or people with a severe allergy to the vaccine; also, people who have a moderate to severe illness and those with GBS should consult their physicians for information regarding vaccination.
Embrace healthy habits: Ensure that all household members get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of exercise; all of these healthy habits can help boost your immune system and give you an edge this cold and flu season!
Safe and healthy travels!