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Keeping your child safe this flu season

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When flu season comes about kids are very susceptible to the flu virus which will then jump on the parents. Pretty soon the whole house will be filled with the sound of sneezing hidden under a pile of tissues.

Typical symptoms of flu are fever, aches and pains, coughing and your child may even develop additional complaints like stomach aches, earaches and even convulsions.

To protect your little munchkin follow these 6 steps for peace of mind.

1. Get a flu shot

Children can get their flu shots as early as 6 months old. Children under the age of 9 who are getting their flu shot for the first time should get the second shot within 4 weeks. In healthy kids the flu shot is up to 90% effective.

2. Build a health body

With proper nutrition,  breastfeeding mothers can pass on antibodies which will protect the child from a host of germs. As the child grows older encourage them to join in or take up some form of exercise. As moderate physical activity has been shown to boost the immune system.

3. Humidify your home

Scientific studies show that the flu virus thrives in low-humidity environments. Keeping the humidity at home at an optimal level of 40 to 60 percent may help to kill or stifle the flu virus.

4. Practice hand hygiene

Whenever you sneeze or chough this opens the door to the flu virus spreading from one person to another. Teach your child to wash their hands with soap, gently scrubbing for 15 - 20 seconds before rinsing and drying.

5. Contain coughs and sneezes

To avoid spreading the flu virus teach your child to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm or into a disposable tissue. Washing their hands promptly with soap and water afterwards.

6. Stay away from sick people

Get your child to be comfortable wearing a mask to prevent spread of the flu virus. By reducing their exposure to cough and sneezes and minimising contact and practicing good hygiene the risk of contracting the flu can be managed and reduced.