Winter Joy Tips: How to Stay Flu-Free during The Festive Season

Winter is coming incredibly quick, as in Italy alone, it's like dropping 5 degrees in a blink of an eye. For us, special needs parents, Winter can mean a higher risk of hospitalization triggered by virus and bacteria as our kids are the vulnerable ones. Our kids get sick a lot easier than their peers and that's why we need certain tips to keep the germs away. These germs are ways for common cold and influenza, we need to keep them at bay.

Influenza affects millions of people around the world as yearly outbreaks happen in Northern and Southern Hemisphere during winter and at any time of the year around the Equator. It is responsible for 200.000 - 500.000 death each year which takes a toll mostly on elderly people, babies and kids, and those with immune problems. Influenza virus is also responsible for many deathly pandemics around the world.

I have some tips to prevent cold and influenza that I got from research and Dario's immunologist. As you all know, Dario doesn't have thymus gland so his immune system actually works below the normal level, he is prone to get the certain illness from bacteria and virus. These tips, so far, work out really well. I'll have to share it with you..
  1. Get flu shots, You may get bored to listen to this but it really works. Hesitation won't prevent you from flu but flu shot will. No matter what is your health status, getting flu shot will reduce flu great risk to 80 percent, plus keeping your surroundings safe. You might never know, but by doing this you prevent those with the immune-compromised syndrome to get sick.
  2. Spray your nose regularly. Everyone might get to sneeze to kick out germs from the nose, but sometimes it's not enough, especially for babies and kids. The only thing that can keep your nose germ-free is nasal spray (yes, there are for babies too) which is medicine free and extracted from the seawater (in Italian, siero di mare)
  3. Take daily vitamin D and Iron. Forget your multivitamins, those are scams, the ones that you should take to prevent cold and flu are Vitamin D and Iron, consult your physician if you aren't sure about the dosage, or you can simply ask a pharmacist near you, she/he might give you good suggestions.
  4. Maintain Hygiene. sounds clichè but maintaining cleanliness of you yourself and the rest of family members will make a lot of difference. My favorite thing to do is adding disinfectants in all my household cleaners even in my detergent. Another thing to do is frequently open your windows to let some fresh air comes in and prevent some germs getting stuck around the house.
  5. Wash your hands. Wash wash wash, everytime you touch something especially when you are outside, wash your hands with warm water and soap or you might want to get gel sanitizer if you can't manage to get water. Trust me, it works. Anyway, try to rub the gel sanitizer all over your palm, and do it gently. Don't do it in hurry, take your time, germs are quite something to kill too though!
  6. Reduce Social life. Yup, The more you get in touch with people, the higher risk you have to get certain virus and bacteria. People might not show obvious symptoms that they got cold or virus or even they might have thought their flu is over. The fact is, bodies still carry virus/bacteria up to three weeks, and for sure they are highly contagious.
  7. Get enough sleep. Your immune system works better when you get enough rest. Try to get 8 hours of sleeping not less or more. You'll feel better as your lymphocytes work in maximum level.
  8. Drink your lemons. Lemon has anti-bacteria elements, it boosts the immune system as well. It is also known for its ability to relieve a sore throat. Try to drink some lemons whether in your tea or even mineral water. You'll feel the difference.
  9. Exercise. Some experts point out that exercise is really a great deal for your body, it helps your body to boost its maximum performance especially in fighting unwanted and dangerous germs. If you are not into exercise, try to do jogging or biking instead. The most important thing, don't skip it!
  10. Dress well. As the Norwegians said "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing" They got it right, try not to look at what people are wearing but feel what you have to wear instead. I mean, it can be that some people don't feel the same amount of cold as you do so they might wear something rather light. Do not follow them, follow your guts. If you think it's cold or really cold, dress accordingly!
  11. Don't Stress out. Stress will weaken your immune system. Try to relax and enjoy your hot chocolate while you can, Christmas is coming!
These tips can be applied to all family members with a bit of adjustment for exercise point, kids don't exercise, do they? so maybe you can design an activity where they can move their bodies and have some fun at the same time.
May the odds be ever in your favor!

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