The Fall Spike has absolutely nothing to do with volleyball and everything to do with kids going back to school and bringing home every germ and bug imaginable. The first year E1 went to school, our entire household was sick more often than we ever had been before, or have been since. Croup, asthma attacks, bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza – you name it, we had it. And it seems like we weren’t alone. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 5,000 people were hospitalized with the flu in 2015 – including 1,500 children. Though you can’t prevent every illness, there are a few simple ways to keep the flu and other bugs from visiting your house this year.
Tips for Avoiding the Fall Spike
Tip #1 – Wash All The Things!
It cannot be said often enough – wash those grubby little paws. I’m not a big fan of hand sanitizer, but I always keep a package of wipes in my purse. It works to quickly wipe off the dirt you can see and the germs you can’t. Know where else those little devils live? Surfaces. Everywhere. Door knobs, bathroom taps, cell phones, countertops, desks. You name it and those little disease bearing pathogens will find a way to cling on, waiting for a chance to transfer themselves to your body. Beat them at their own game by regularly wiping off all of those surfaces.
Tip #2 – Vampire Sneezes Are In
Not familiar with the vampire sneeze? Instead of just covering your mouth, you bury that sneeze into the crook of your arm – making you look just like Dracula. Doing so will help keep you from spraying and spreading your own germs everywhere.
Tip #3 – Eat Well
Winter in Canada can leave us feeling like we have a severe shortage of fresh food choices. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Try pulling yourself out of a food rut and explore the different fruits and vegetables available. Serve them in different ways (and several times over) until you find some new foods you and your family like. And eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. Very few of us can afford select cuts of beef or salmon every night. But there are plenty of other sources of vitamins and minerals that will help support your immune system and overall health.
- Vitamin C – found in citrus fruit and seeds and nuts
- Zinc – also found in seeds and nuts
- Beta Carotene (Vitamin A) – found in orange vegetables like squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes
- Protein – not only found in animal products, but also in legumes, nuts, and seeds
- B Vitamins – found in leafy vegetables, grains, and squash
Remember how I went to visit the Zehr’s in-store dietitian not that long ago? Well, they also have loads of recipe and food ideas for maintaining a healthy diet that won’t break the bank. Appointments are free for the making. And while you’re at it…
Tip #4 – Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is not just a once done and over with thing. Every year folks, every year it needs to be done. And since you’re out getting groceries at your local Real Canadian Superstore, why not pop into the pharmacy and get your flu shot? Talk about easy peasy. Starting mid-October, pharmacists at your local Superstore are ready, willing, and able to stick a needle in your arm. Call ahead to schedule or take a chance and pop in. Reward yourself with a lollipop or something from the bakery while you’re there. You deserve it.
Disclaimer: My friends at Real Canadian Superstore asked me to talk about the upcoming flu season and how to avoid it. Consideration has been received in exchange for this post. However, as always, my bossy opinions are my own.