With winter in full swing, it’s important parents of New Jammies kids keep in mind helpful tips in combating the flu, which has already seen increases in cases as an epidemic this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February.
“Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care,” states the CDC, on its website. “If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician’s assistant, etc.).”
The CDC says you may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Body aches
• Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
*It’s important to note not everyone with flu will have a fever
Encouraging children to snuggle up in their New Jammies and get plenty of rest is important as they take the road to recovery this flu season. The professionals at KidsHealth.org, an online extension of the Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health Media, which is dedicated to improving the health of children, suggests these quick tips for treating the flu:
• Offer plenty of fluids (fever, which is common with the flu, can lead to dehydration). If your child is tired of drinking plain water, try ice pops, icy drinks mixed in a blender, and soft fruits (like melons or grapes).
• Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches and pains (but do not give aspirin unless your doctor directs you to do so).
• Dress your child in layers so you can add and remove layers during bouts of chills or fever.
Ask a close relative or faraway friend to call and help lift your child’s spirits.
• Take care of yourself and the other people in your family! If you haven’t done so, ask your doctor whether you (and other family members) should get a flu vaccine. Also, wash your hands well and often, especially after picking up used tissues.
• If your doctor prescribes medicine to ease symptoms, be sure to call the pharmacist before you go to pick it up. The flu can strongly affect many areas of the U.S., so some pharmacies might have trouble keeping the medicines in stock.
To help kids achieve optimal sleep, especially during flu season, create a sooting, sleep-friendly environment. KidsHealth suggests encouraging children to rest in bed or on the couch with a supply of magazines, books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie. Health experts agree that rest helps the body fight infection and is a much-needed natural remedy for the cold and flu season.
Also, taking Mom’s age-old advice of drinking plenty of fluids and feeding a cold with chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers. This healthy homemade chicken noodle soup, courtesy of Rodale Recipe Finder found at organicgardening.com, will have your little ones, and the whole family, on the mend in no time:
Chicken Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons organic canola oil
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ strips
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
3 cups broccoli florets
2 carrots, julienned
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
8 ounces whole grain rotini
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until browned. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
2. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the broth and water. Add the broccoli, carrots, and ginger and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook for 11 minutes, or until tender. Add the chicken back to the soup during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking.
Nutritional Facts per serving
Calories 275.5 cal
Fat 7.9 g
Saturated fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 32.9 mg
Sodium 447.9 mg
Carbohydrates 30.6 g
Total sugars 4.1 g
Dietary fiber 7.4 g
Protein 21.5 g