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prevent flu from spreading

5 Ways to Stop Spreading Germs and Flu-Proof Your House

We’ve all been there – the complete and utter panic of finding out one kid has…THE FLU! You immediately jump into action to figure out how to keep everyone else in the household healthy. Because if one sick kid isn’t bad enough, imagine everyone being sick. THE HORROR!!! But if you prepare your household for cold and flu season and read up on the best advice on how to prevent the flu from spreading (good thing you’re reading this article!), then you are in good hands.

You got this!

5 Ways to Flu-Proof Your House

So how do you prevent the flu from spreading from person to person when everyone lives under one roof?

The quick rundown:

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast, including 100% orange juice.
  2. Quarantine the sickies.
  3. Push the fluids, but focus on the right fluids.
  4. Keep it clean.
  5. Solo sick visits, if at all possible.

Now, let’s break down my top 5 {not-so-secret-anymore} secret ways for stopping the flu from spreading from family member to family member in my household. When the flu or really anything contagious comes our way, we whip out these flu-proofing tools immediately!

1. Step Up Your Breakfast Game.

Breakfast time is the best time to support your child’s immunity! Starting their day out with a healthy, delicious, and immune supportive meal is easier than you think. I highly recommend elderberry syrup on pancakes and a tasty glass of Florida Orange Juice!

Yes! 100% orange juice is my go to secret weapon to fight against the flu!

Why is a glass of Florida OJ so awesome? Well, it’s packed with immune supporting vitamins and minerals, including it’s big claim to fame: vitamin C!

Florida Orange Juice is well known for being rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C can help strengthen our immune systems by protecting cells and promoting the production and function of immune cells. In fact, just one serving (8-ounces for adults, 4-6-ounces for kids) of 100% orange juice provides more than 100% of your recommended daily value of vitamin C, making orange juice a quick and easy source of this important nutrient.

In my book, a glass of delicious Florida Orange Juice with a well-balanced, immune boosting breakfast is a no-brainer for how to prevent the flu from spreading in your home!

2. Practice Solitary Confinement.

The best way to prevent the flu from spreading is to completely avoid contact with germs. As much as we disinfect our house, keeping the children away from each other is really the key to preventing the spread of infection.

Make it fun for your sick child with tents, forts, decorating the room, etc.

It would be really fun for sick kids and well kids to play together via walkie talkies! They can still talk to each other and feel like they’re playing together without actually being close enough to spread the germs.

Be creative to keep them entertained! But definitely keep them physically separated!

3. Fluids are the Key to Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy 

We all know it’s important to replenish fluids while sick with the flu, but being optimally hydrated can actually help your immune system as well. If you want to keep the rest of your family from coming down with the sickness, don’t underestimate the power of staying hydrated!

Why is hydration so important when fighting the flu?

Dehydration causes a cycle of symptoms that’s hard to overcome. When you have the flu, you may lose fluids faster than you can replenish them. Dehydration causes headaches and nausea, further causing you to ignore your need for rehydration.

In addition, sickness-fighting proteins travel all over your body via fluids. So being dehydrated is ultimately a barrier to your body being able to fight off illnesses.

Being well-hydrated also helps your first defenses (eyes, nose, and mouth) block out infection. That is why it is so important to encourage not only your sick children to drink fluids throughout the day but your healthy children as well. Remember if your child isn’t eating well, it is important to utilize a fluid that can replenish the lost nutrients. My kids will never say no to a glass of OJ! With 100% orange juice, you’re getting the hydration, electrolytes, and key vitamins and nutrients needed when sickness strikes. Not only is OJ almost 90% water, it also contains key electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as carbohydrates needed for energy.

Game Changer Tip: Drink a delicious and nutritious morning smoothie!

In our family, we love smoothies for this very purpose! Everyone gets the fluids they need PLUS vitamins and nutrients from the fruit to help ward off germs or help sick ones bounce back quickly from the crud!

Our Go-To Orange Juice Smoothie Recipe

  • 10 oz of 100% orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (frozen)
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 4 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • Handful of ice
  • 1 tbsp Honey (only for children 1 and over)
  • Elderberry syrup for an extra boost of immunity

4. The Obvious Answer {with some not-so-obvious tips}

CLEAN! Yes, clean everything. And clean everything again!

So it might sound like a very obvious answer for keeping the flu at bay, but here are 4 must-know tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your forced cleaning frenzy!

Cleaning Tip #1: Have a Bathroom Plan of Attack.

Did you know your toothbrush holder is the 3rd germiest spot in the house?

Many of us have a bathroom hub! A spot where everyone’s toiletries live. Maybe it’s a cup or a drawer, but it’s where everything lives, including germs.

When the flu hits your household, the first thing you need to do is eliminate the areas where most germs are spread. It is not only the toothbrush holders, but the door knobs, faucets, and the toilet handle. And if your children are like mine, they also share (and fight over) the stool.

Game Changer Tip: If you have two bathrooms in your house, designate a sick bathroom!!

Bathe and prepare your healthy children for bedtime and school in a different bathroom. This isolation will significantly decrease your chances of spreading germs. It’s also worth it to invest in new toothbrushes for everyone.

Cleaning Tip #2: Don’t Forget the Kitchen Sink!

Do you know the 2nd germiest place in the house? The kitchen sink!!

Meal times are prime time for sharing germs!

As we serve and prepare food, we also spread germs. And siblings are notorious for eating off each other’s plates. When attempting to prevent the spread of germs, it’s a good idea to feed your children at different times. And make sure to wash hands in between meals!

Game Changer Tip: Give each child their own designated set of plates, cups, and silverware.

My children each have a specific color. This way there is no mixing and matching when the flu comes to town.

Cleaning Tip #3: Leave the Germs at the Door.

This tip is more about prevention, since you certainly won’t be sending kids to school with the flu! But it’s still a great point to keep in mind.

It is not called the mud room for nothing! Have you ever stopped to think about where your child’s backpack has been throughout the day? On the bus floor, classroom hooks (next to all the other germ-infested backpacks), bathroom floor (yikes), and then finally in your mud room or entryway.

When your child comes down with the flu, you can almost guarantee there are germs on their backpack. If your family is anything like mine, all the bags are piled on top of each other in the hallway or floor.

If you want to get the flu out of your household, make sure your children separate their backpacks. Disinfect often during cold and flu season, and try washing the backpacks, if possible.

Game Changer Tip: Do the same for shoes!!!

Leaving germy shoes in a central location is an easy way to keep germs from literally walking all over your house!

5. Do NOT Take Family Trips to the Pediatrician.

How do you prevent the flu from spreading when you have to take everyone to the doctor at once? Taking one sick child to the doctor can be challenging, taking three children to the pediatrician is impossible.

The pediatrician’s office is one of the most dangerous places when it comes to exposure to viruses and bacteria. You can very easily end up getting sick (or even more sick!) at the pediatrician’s office.

Most parents are there for the same reason as you, to have their child evaluated for an illness. And your child’s immune system is the weakest when they are fighting off an illness. I like to use the analogy of war. If all your soldiers (in our scenario, your child’s immune system) are fighting one battle, they are extremely vulnerable to being attacked by another enemy. A great tip is to make early morning appointment, before all the germs of the day come in!  Make sure to bring your own antibacterial wipes and wipe down EVERYTHING!

Final Thoughts on How to Prevent the Flu From Spreading

Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we can’t avoid the flu train from wreaking havoc on the family. Establishing healthy eating habits, good sleep habits, and supporting everyone’s immune systems with 100% orange juice, probiotics, and elderberry, are all such important tips for getting through flu seasons.

~ Dr. Katie


*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own*


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