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Did you know that each year, we’re up against 200 or more cold and flu viruses? As parents we all want what’s best for our children. Not only is it important to watch out for our children’s well being, it’s also just as important to look out for our own well being. I know around here at The Funny household whenever I’m not feeling my best the whole ship starts to sink. We’ve had plenty of experience of both colds and the flu at the The Funny house. That’s why we’ve created helpful tips to stay healthy this cold and flu season thanks to Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente Orange County is more than just a health care provider, they truly care about the individuals they serve. We are more than happy to share what we’ve learned about how to stay well from Kaiser Permanente. I am a KP Thrive Ambassador, all opinions are my own.
Healthy Habits For Healthy Living
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Wendy Coling of Kaiser Permanente Orange County to talk one-on-one about how we can stay healthy this cold and flu season. Dr. Coling was very informative and easy to talk to and she gave us some great advice. The best way to fight against the cold and flu season is to get annual flu vaccinations and to maintain healthy habits.
Wash, Wash, Wash!
Hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to keep from getting and spreading colds and the flu. Using plain soap and warm water is as effective as using antibacterial soap. And just in case you’re in an area where you can’t wash with soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand gel is a good option. Dr. Wendy Coling recommends washing our hands frequently. In the event that we’re out in a public place without direct access to wash our hands and we’re touching lots of stuff (like shopping carts and door handles!), Dr. Coling strongly suggests not touching our face until we’re able to wash our hands again.
Eating a well balanced diet rich in antioxidant rich fruits and dark green vegetables will help our bodies be in prime health and avoid getting sick.
It may sound too easy, but getting plenty of rest, managing stress, and exercising can help you resist getting sick. When our bodies are under stress, they’re more apt to getting sick. Children and adults (especially seniors 65 or older) who have a chronic health condition or weakened immune system should get a pneumonia vaccination. Dr. Wendy Coling said that people who maintain at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night have a lower likelihood of getting colds and the flu.
Dr. Wendy Coling suggests staying away from sick people. It may sound harsh, but the fastest way to catch a cold or the flu is by catching the virus from someone else.
Important Information About The Flu
Why We Should Get The Flu Vaccination
The flu is more serious than the common cold, so we should do everything we can to prevent it. According to Dr. Wendy Coling, between 25-50 MILLION people will get the flu every year. Out of those that do get sick, 250,000 thousand of them will be admitted to the hospital for complications from the flu. Most shocking, 36,000 deaths will occur from the flu – that statistic is comparable to breast cancer death rate! A flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu according to Dr. Wendy Coling. The vaccine is safe, won’t make us sick, and generally has few side effects.
When To Get The Flu Vaccination
The flu virus changes often, and the protection from the vaccine only lasts for about a year. That’s why we should get a flu shot every year, preferably in the early fall. The flu vaccination can take up to two weeks to become effective in our immune systems, therefore Dr. Coling suggests getting the vaccination before the flu season begins. However, Dr. Coling says it’s never too late to get the flu vaccination so you’ll still be protected.
Who Should Get The Flu Vaccination
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccination. Dr. Wendy Coling highly suggests that breastfeeding moms get the flu vaccination. Most especially if they are breastfeeding an infant under the age of 6 months old. Studies have shown that there is a 70% decrease of risk of breastfed babies getting the flu.
Flu Vaccinations Are Important For Everyone, Especially:
- Breastfeeding moms of babies under 6 months of age – studies have shown that there is a 70% decrease of risk of breastfed babies getting the flu
- people 50 years and older
- children 6 months through 4 years old
- women who are or will be pregnant during flu season
- people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems
- people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care centers
- health care workers
- people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for flu-related complications
Flu shots are available at no charge to Kaiser Permanente members when given at a Kaiser Permanente medical facility. Get your flu shot, and take simple, effective steps to help protect yourself and others. Find flu clinic information and hotlines in your area. We’ll be heading into our local KP office to get ours this week!
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