It’s Elementary by Brandy Blanton

Tips to Survive Cold and Flu Season: • Wash your hands Many viruses are spread by your hands. You pick up germs on your fingers and then get them in your mouth or eyes. To avoid spreading these germs, wash your hands with soap and water often and be sure to wash them well. This is a key way to help prevent a cold or flu. • Get your Flu shot You may think of the flu as a minor problem, but it can be a severe problem! The flu can even be dangerous, especially for young children, older adults, and pregnant women. One little shot may save you and your family a lot of misery. • Be prepared for Cold season Stock your medicine cabinet with any drugs you may use, like pain relievers or decongestants. Also stock up on tissues, soap, and hand sanitizer. Make sure that your thermometer battery still works. Load up on fluids, herbal teas, and simple comfort foods like chicken soup for when you are sick. • Pay attention to symptoms Cold or Flu? At times it may be hard to distinguish the symptoms between the two viruses. Colds tend to usually be milder – runny nose or stuffy nose. The Flu is usually more severe and comes on suddenly probably knocking you off your feet for a few days. Fever, Body aches, and Exhaustion are more common with the flu. • Get the Right Medication There are lots of cold and flu remedies to choose from at the drugstore. Be smart about the ones you use. Many experts say you should avoid combination medications that package lots of drugs in one pill – like a decongestant, cough suppressant, and a pain killer. You could wind up getting a drug for symptoms you don’t have. Read labels and choose only the medications that will help with the symptoms that you have. • Skip the Antibiotics Cold and Flu are caused by viruses, so antibiotics will not help. They work only with bacterial infections. • Ask about Antivirals No drugs can cure the flu, but some may help you get better faster. Prescription antiviral drugs – Relenza and Tamiflu – can help the symptoms and decrease your recovery time. The Catch: You need to start taking these antivirals 48 hours from your first symptom. • Drink Extra Fluids Drinking extra fluids when you are sick will help thin mucus, letting your sinuses drain better. Water, broth, and sports drinks are good choices. Hot drinks – like herbal tea- will also warm your airways, helping relieve congestion. If you are sick children are not drinking enough, offer them Popsicles, or let them drink fluids with a spoon or straw. Try different ways to coax them into drinking more fluids. • If you are sick, Stay Home It may not be easy to take a sick day. But if you have a cold or flu, you should. If you push yourself when you are sick and work instead of rest, your body may have a harder time fighting off the virus, your cold could last longer. You could also spread the virus to other people.

So when you are sick, stay home, rest, and recover. It is better for you and everyone around you!

DATES TO REMEMBER: •January 21st – Holiday, No School •January 22nd – No School! Parent Teacher Conference from 3-6pm. •February 5th – PTO meeting