Avoiding the Flu

I asked on my Smockity Frocks Facebook fan page how everyone is avoiding the flu and have gotten a few different responses.

Generally, I have not been a worrier about illness. I figure we’ll pass around a virus or two every year and suffer through it the best we can.

I have never been a fan of the antibacterial gel that is so popular. I figure if you touch a door knob that has some microscopic unsavory element on it, and then use the gel, you’re just rubbing the poop around all over your hands!

We have never taken the flu shot and I also abstain from the new pneumonia vaccine that pediatricians recommend. I have always considered the possibility of contracting those illnesses remote and not life threatening even if we do get them.

Then, last week it was reported that a healthy 14 year old girl, the same age as our MaddieLynn, died from the flu very near our home. She stayed home from school on Thursday and died on Sunday.

Her parents did all the right things, took her to the doctor, called the doctor when her fever rose, took her to the hospital, but it wasn’t enough.

That got my attention! Especially because it was reported that she had no underlying conditions.

I’m not rushing out to get the flu vaccine just yet, but here are a few of the things we are doing to try to avoid the flu.

  1. Lots of hand washing.
  2. Using antibacterial gel, especially after going to public places.
  3. No water fountains.

    I found these nifty stainless steel water bottles on clearance, and I put each child’s initial on one. We are taking these whenever we go out so no one needs to drink from a water fountain.

  4. Avoiding sick people. MaddieLynn saw through her Facebook account that 5 of our friends from church had either the flu or strep throat. My husband and I discussed it and decided to stay home from church until the sickness passes through.
  5. Eating foods and taking vitamins that boost immunity. We are taking vitamin C every day, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, oatmeal, and garlic. I make this ultra delicious baked oatmeal recipe, and as soon as I get my hands on some flax seed oil, I’ll use that for the 1 cup of oil.
  6. Prayer!

What are you doing to avoid the flu?

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Comments

  1. ABandCsMom says:

    A lot of praying. I'm scared to pieces over this H1N1 flu. We will be getting our shots. Our daughter has underlying health issues. So we are all advised to get the shots right along with her. Normally we do. Last year's shortage caused my husband and I not to be able to get one. Funny thing about that. We did NOT get sick at all!

  2. I am blessed! says:

    We've all just gotten over it, so hopefully that's it for the season! My background is Pharmaceutical sciences and I'm not a fan of anti-microbial cleaners and soaps. This tends to breed super-bugs (MRSA and the like). Hand washing with regular soap is always a good idea, though! I agree with you about the flu vaccine, especially this year as it has not been thoroughly tested in kids, yet.

  3. Alice McD says:

    It used to be that I did not get flu shots, and didn't get them for my children either.

    Then a few years back I read statistics about how getting the vaccines year by year can help you fight other flu viruses later in life (when you might be less healthy or have a chronic condition) because your immune system will recognize a virus as similar and be able to mount a defense more quickly.

    Even now, we're hearing that folks who got a flu shot in 1976 (when the strain was from pigs) are likely to have a mild case of H1N1 because it is similar.

    So, I grudingly started to get the shots for myself, and have dragged my teens to the pediatrician for them the last three years. You'll have to check back with me in 2025 to see how it worked out for us!

    The best news on flu shots is that pharmacists are now allowed to give them to anyone 12 and over, so it's much easier to take advantage of this avenue of prevention if you're so inclined. I got mine at Walgreen's on the way to Bunko, and will probably be taking my teens this weekend.

    Other than that, I just preach soap and water, especially after going out. I'm not sure if we will be worshiping at home this Sunday or not.

  4. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    Even with the reported deaths, I'm still more scared of the vaccines than I am the flu. Is that terrible? It just bugs me that a vaccine can be whipped up in lots of different formulas just so various drug companies can make money off of them. And side effects… long term effects… how can any of that be known?!

    We won't be going to many basketball games in crowded gyms this winter, that's for sure.

  5. Last year I didn't get the flu shot again and was fine. I'm not big on needles and avoided the meningitis shots too. However with student teaching coming up I might go ahead and get the shot. Who knows. I just try to avoid sitting close to people who are sick, wash my hands a lot, extra sleep, take my allergy meds, drink water, and most importantly keep my hands away from my face when I'm in public places. I also try to keep our computer keyboards clean and just constantly tell myself "I'm not getting sick, I'm not getting sick." ;)

  6. I've never had the flu shot and never had the flu. My dad got the flu shot last year and got the flu anyways…
    My dh has a friend who is an ER doctor. When dh asked him how he avoided getting sick when constantly surrounded by sick people, his answer was "wash your hands".

  7. Allyson Kellner says:

    I hear ya, I'm trying so hard not to panic over H1N1.

  8. We are pretty laid back. Vitamins and such here.

    I wanted to suggest instead of flax oil, which losses its goodness with heat, try coconut oil (good organic coconut oil) in the baked oatmeal. CO adds a hint of flavor to the baked oatmeal.

  9. AVOIDING SUGAR! Sugars, even natural ones in fruit and honey, LOWER the immune system. I predict that alot of people are taste testing candy right now and that's why their immune systems are so low, and that it will be worse just after Helloween (yes I misspelled that on purpose – I'm not a fan of that particular celebration in case you hadn't guessed). Everyone will have gorged themselves on sweets, their immune systems will be at a seasonal low, and the flu will be at a seasonal high.

    You know that not-right feeling in the back of your nose/throat you get when you're about to get sick? When you feel that coming on, if you immediately take echinacea, golden seal, and myrrh and tons of vitamin C, AND stop all sugar intake (including starches like noodles and bread because they turn to sugar inside you) for a week it will usually pull you right out of it in a day or two. If it does not, you didn't catch it soon enough for it to be that easy but the above listed herbs will help you to fight it off faster. Honestly when you are sick the best thing to eat is chicken and vegetables. Fruits have too much sugar which will counteract your vitamin C; Drinking orange juice is actually not as good for you as they say because the sugar in the juice lowers your immunity as much as the vit. C in it raises it. Bummer! :( It would be sorta like taking a sleeping pill with a tall glass of a caffeinated beverage. :/ Did you know that chewable vitamin C's have sugar in them? Kind of defeats the purpose! I give my kids chewables because they are just 1 and 3 but as soon as they are old enough to swallow pills they will not get chewables anymore because they don't work as well. Cough drops are bad because of the sugar in them!

    One time I felt myself start to get sick. I stopped sugar and took the C and herbs and was better by morning. Well that afternoon instead of sticking to the no sugar until I was sure I was out of the woods and germ-free, I went out to dinner at a buffet for a family event and had lots of starches and desserts and soda. By the next morning I was sick as can be and had a double ear infection. I went back to no sugar, and everything but the ear infection cleared up in record time. I have had problems with my ears all my life though so that's why.

    In addition to watching our sugar intake and stopping it altogether at any hint of illness, we will be staying home alot and washing hands frequently. My kids wear sweaters and socks to bed because the bedrooms get cold at night and they kick the blankets off. Hoods up or hats on when it's breezy outside. A vitamin C every day. They only get fruit juice if they are having bowel trouble. If they want a treat they sometimes eat ice cubes or water popsicles. Keeps them hydrated and it's fun. Or frozen vegetables. My kids get a kick out of eating frozen peas. Lol!

    And I'm with Amy @ Finer Things: The vacines scare me more than the flu! We'll pass on the vax.

    Wow that was long. I should have just blogged it and linked! Haha! I might still blog it anyway since it's pretty much what I'm telling people all the time when they ask if we're worried about the flu.

  10. I have also seen reference to vitamin D. Apparently Canadian researchers have found that vitamin D can help prevent the flu or reduce the severity of it. Now they are investigating it so see if it also helps with h1n1.

    So we are all dosing up on vitamin D, as well as the other usual vitamins.

    No shot for us though, they scare me too.

  11. Because of our littlest being immuno-suppressed and me being pregnant, 2 of our family of 4 are in 'high-risk' groups. Our doctors are recommending the 2 of us get both flu shots and the other 2 family members get the regular flu shot.
    We are already big users of hand-gel and hand washing.
    Other than that we are avoiding public places as much as possible, almost completely. Extreme? Yes. But worth it to us, considering the risks.

  12. Yes, we had strep and swine flu sweep through our younger daughter's class at church. SOMEHOW we avoided it. We discussed staying home but since it had been a whole week we decided to go. It seems to have passed for now. I did speak to our children's director and he bought hand gel, clorox wipes, and lysol for all the bible classes.

    Hadn't thought about supplements….

  13. The Lockwood Family says:

    No additional tips on avoiding the flu; but on avoiding the worry…
    *Remember our children belong to the Lord
    *He loves them even more than we do
    *He is such a wonderful, good, loving God
    *Nothing happens to us without His knowledge
    *He works all things together for good to them that love Him
    *We can trust Him and give our every burden and care to Him

    Love you!!

  14. I love your tips. We've all gotten the flu shot this year, but I'm still not sure about the H1N1 vaccine. We wash hands, take our vitamins, and try to avoid people we know are sick. H1N1 is a tricky thing, because it just doesn't seem to follow the rules of who is at risk. So I found myself just doing a lot of praying!

  15. Great find on the stainless steel bottles! I have 1 for myself, and my kiddos have some hopefully BPA-free plastic ones…

  16. This topic is very controversial so I want to preface this statement by saying the most important thing is for you and your husband to pray about it and do what you feel is best for your family. That being said, I am not going to get the flu shot. The vaccines can only be made against 2 or 3 flu strains, and there are hundreds of flu strains every winter, I think it would be frustrating to get the vaccine, and still come down with the flu. I see everyone and their mom using the antibacterial hand gel, but that is something else I am not a fan of. I think that some exposure to germs is good for your immune system and if you try to live your life in an antibacterial bubble your body won't be able to build up any antibodies to the flu, colds, etc. There are definitely times when the use of such gels are warranted…but to use them after you touch anyone or anything is just overkill, in my opinion.
    I believe, as a nursing student, that the absolute best thing you can do is strengthen your wonderful immune system that God has given you. In addition to vitamin C, etc. make sure everyone in your household is well rested. Tiredness and stress are some of the biggest immune depressors. Also, drink lots of water! That will enable your body to flush away all the toxins…doesn't that sound like such a beautiful thing? Again,I think that what you are already doing is great. These are just my thoughts on the topic.

  17. Oatmeal on the wall says:

    I am a registered nurse and have been very confused about what the right thing to do is. I hear about these nurses in New York who are fighting to have the right to not be vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. Then I hear about healthy kids dying from this flu. After much consideration and talking with our pediatrician I decided that the best thing for our family to do would be to get the vaccine. I have a 5 yr old with asthma and a 1 yr old, who would both be at high risk for complications, so for them I absolutely am going to get the vaccine. I also have a 13 and 15 yr old who I also would like to have vaccinated. I just think it is better to protect them if I can. The deaths of healthy children are scary!

  18. I just found out last night that my MIL who is a CNA got the shot and SHE GOT THE FLU FROM THE SHOT. She's really sick right now and has been holed up at home sick for days. And what really bugs me is my husband went to see her and none of his family told him she's sick- he figured it out when he got there and she was obviously super sick. So he went to see her last night and she has this flu and now he's on his way home to me and the kids. Wow, Mom, thanks for the germs. My hubby really needed to carry home a good dose of Swine Flu germs to me and the kids today.
    When he gets home I'm going to ask him to shower and take a bunch of vitamins. :(

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