To reference a popular television series: “Winter is coming,” and with it, cold and flu season. Although influenza viruses can occur at various times of the year, increases in flu activity during the month of October are common. So, can you avoid getting sick? Maybe not, but you can certainly take steps to increase your chances of staying healthy.
Flu shot or not?
For 2016, the influenza vaccine is indicated for a wide range of people, including children as young as 6 months of age, pregnant women and even people with chronic conditions. Of course, should you have questions about this year’s flu vaccine, reach out to the caring family doctors at Pomona Valley Health Centers.
Who should not get the flu shot:
- Children younger than 6 months
- People with severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in it. (may include gelatin, antibiotics or other ingredients)
- People with egg allergies
Who should talk to their doctor about the flu shot:
- Those who have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a severe paralyzing illness
- People who are experiencing cold or flu symptoms
Prepare for cold and flu season
There are few ways you can improve your odds of avoiding the flu, or at least be well-equipped to fight it, including:
- Load up on tissues, hand soap, hand sanitizer and paper towels.
- Be ready for sick kids by picking up games, puzzles, coloring books or DVDs.
- Stock your medicine cabinet with pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants or cough syrups.
- Test your thermometer to make sure the batteries are working.
- Disinfect doorknobs, remote controls and phones every day.
- Clean your humidifier.
- Avoid germy hands. Tell kids to wash for as long as it takes to sing two rounds of "Happy Birthday,” and that goes for you, too!
- Two words: Hand sanitizer. Not foolproof, but every little precaution helps. Place a bottle in every room. Make sure it's at least 60 percent alcohol, and have everyone use it each time they pass by.
- Plan for sick days. Even if you don't get sick, you may need to care for your sick kids. Know your office policy for sick days.
- Friends and family to the rescue: Ask for help in case you’re too sick to care for your sick kids, or are unable to get them to after-school activities.
- Rest to fight, recover from or avoid a cold or flu.
- Get your flu shot. Talk to your doctor about getting the whole family vaccinated.
Helping you stay healthy all year long is our passion at Pomona Valley Health Centers. From family medicine and sports medicine to sleep disorders and urgent care, PVHC offers convenient locations throughout Southern California’s Inland Empire in Pomona, Chino Hills, Chino Hills Crossroads and Claremont.
To schedule an appointment, call 909-630-7829 or click here to use our online form.