Keeping Your Family Healthy This Flu Season

According to Secretary Enrique Ona of the Department of Health (DOH), flu season here in the country is from July to December. It is also the season for monsoon rains, typhoons and cool breeze…the season that coincides with flu.

Flu vaccination is the best way to protect your family from the flu but there are other ways you can take to keep your family healthy this flu season.

flu season
Cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue
when you cough or sneeze to trap the germs.

Have Vitamin C everyday. Vitamin C is one of the most important nutritional elements to include in your regular diet. Research shows that Vitamin C helps in fighting free radicals by protecting the cells and keeping them healthy. It is also a popular remedy for common colds. Though your body is not able to produce Vitamin C on its own, you can have it everyday by including Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet or by taking Vitamin C supplements from your trusted brand.

Observe the etiquette of coughing and sneezing. Coughs and sneezes spread diseases such as colds, flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and whooping cough. Cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue when you cough or sneeze to trap the germs. Throw the used tissue in the trash bin then wash your hands to avoid contaminating things and spreading germs to others.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Regular hand-washing reduces the passing of germs that cause not just respiratory diseases but gastrointestinal illness as well. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol or hand sanitizer to clean your hands.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you can’t avoid coming into close contact with sick people, use face mask (preferably N95). Research shows that when a family member is sick, other family members wearing mask cut their risk of getting infected by 60% to 80%.

Practice good health habits. Have regular, moderate exercise and enough sleep, eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids and practice safety and cleanliness around your home.

Image Credit:
David Castillo Dominici – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Soothe Your Child’s Cough Away

Because it’s raining almost everyday, cough and colds are upon us. Unfortunately, there is no cure for common colds, but the good thing is it can be managed at home and will just go away naturally after 3-7 days (although some lasts longer). As for the cough, it usually lasts for 10 days and sometimes needs the help of antibiotic to rid the lungs of unwanted phlegm. A child’s persistent coughing triggers his gag reflex causing him to vomit. It also keeps the child or even the entire family up all night. Below are facts about cough and cough medicines that will help soothe your child’s cough away.

What are the different kinds of coughs and their treatment?

  • Cough with runny nose – caused by mucus running down the back of the throat. It can be treated with  a decongestant (available as over-the-counter medications).
  • Coughs related to allergy – caused by allergens. Antihistamine can be taken to avoid further allergic reactions.
  • Dry cough – tickling cough caused by throat irritation. It can be remedied with lozenges or hard menthol candies.

What are the signs of something worse?

  • Coughing up blood.
  • Coughing with chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Losing weight without trying.
  • High-pitched sound when inhaling.

How to help your child?

Humidity sometimes helps ease coughing. Put a vaporizer near your child’s bed or steam up the bathroom. Fluids can also thin out the phlegm in your child’s throat and make it easier to cough.

Because cough is caused by virus which is air-borne, coughing spreads infections from person to person. Teach your child to cover his mouth and nose when he coughs. Teach him not to spit anywhere and cover his mouth and nose when he sneeze. Have him wash his hands after he coughs or sneezes into them. Also, keep your child from smoke and secondhand smoke.

What are the types of cough medicines?

The types of cough medicines are suppressants and expectorants. Obviously suppressants suppress coughing by blocking the cough reflex so this should not be given to your child if he has productive  mucus that needs to be coughed out. But if your child has dry hacking cough that prevents him from sleeping, then suppressant may give him relief. Expectorants, on the other hand, thins mucus that makes it cough up easily.

Most doctors believe though that cough from colds should not be treated unless it interferes with your child’s activities. All though most cough medicines can be bought over-the-counter, still, self-medication is not recommended. It is best to have your child checked before giving him any medicine.

Department of Health

Photo Credit:
Arvind Balaraman –