I am not a Nervous Nelly about the flu story, but I am a preparedness oriented mama. I have been collecting information on flu preparations and thought I would share some tips and things you can do. If you have been online today you probably already heard the PSA announcement about having two weeks of water and food on hand. But there are some other things you can do now.
First teach your kids and their friends good hygiene. I love this little ditty for helping stop the spread of germs.
To the tune of When Your Happy and You Know it.
Put your mouth in your elbow when you cough (pantomime with coughing) – COUGH, COUGH
Put your nose in your elbow when you sneeze
(pantomime with sneezing – ATCHOOO
Put your mouth in your elbow, put your nose in your elbow, so you don’t spread your germs if you please.
Keep hand sanitizer in the car and give each kid a squirt each time you come back to the car from an outing or errand. Yes, I know soap and water is better than sanitizers, but in the car you don’t have water so we use “magic soap” as we call it.
Yes, you can go to the doctor or ER for Tamiflu and Relenza and you should if you or a family member are very sick. But, I wonder if the nation has enough of these drugs stockpiled if this does develop into a pandemic? Relenza shouldn’t be used in children and so far the schools seem to be a big transmission point here in the US (think the NYC cases). So I have been collecting ideas for supplementing or boosting immune system and trying to cut off any flu before it takes hold in the body. Here are some ideas I have collected over the last week.
N95 masks can be bought at any home improvement store cheaper than online. They won’t prevent flu virus from passing through, but will protect from infected spittle/mucus if you must go out in an area that is having an uptick in cases. Gloves can also be purchased at pharmacies and home improvement stores.
Standard N95 masks don’t fit kids well. There is a brand available only online called the totobobo, that is able to be cut to fit smaller faces and is washable with refillable filters. Obviously this is going to seem over the top to many people. I am one who calms down when I feel like I have prepared for the worst as much as I can. http://totobobo.com/
Notes about influenza from a naturopath:
The recent outbreak of swine flu may or may not become a pandemic. Earlier this winter I taught a class about influenza. Here is some information from that presentation that goes beyond the basic hygiene measures we should all be taking. These are just some ideas to consider, please remember that anyone can have a negative reaction to any supplement, so make sure that it is right for you.
According to studies, the following supplements and herbs have shown some effectiveness with preventing and minimizing influenza:
· Vitamin D 2000 IU/day
· NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) 600mg bid with 1200mg Vitamin C (NAC can cause stomach aches and diarrhea in a small percentage of people and must be used with twice as much Vitamin C)
· Extracts of Olive leaf, Elderberry (Sambucus and Sambucol are good brands-try Whole Foods or organic/health food markets) and Astragalus
Other preventive measures include:
Keep mucus membranes moist and healthy
Humidifier if house is dry
Clean vents and furnace filter and other environmental irritants in the house
Basic Immune Enhancing Measures for Influenza
· Eat enough, not too much, not too little
· Include 5 portions of colorful vegetable and fruit (especially for the carotenoids which help maintain the lining of the respiratory tract along with many other helpful attributes
· Stay hydrated
Peculiar to influenza:
· Exercising it off is not a good strategy with influenza. The goal is to keep the pathogen from descending deeper into the bronchi and lungs from the throat and nasal passages. The deep breathing of exercise combined with our (usually) dry air can actually drive it deeper. If you suspect flu, because of body aches and such, stay home and rest.
· Stay warm. The influenza viruses like a temperature of 95 degrees, which is part of why it flourishes in the airways where the temperature is cooler. Warm foods and drinks and covers help.
· The conventional anti-flu drugs do appear to be effective with this swine flu variant.
>From the symptoms reported in the media thus far, the homeopathic medicine with the best match is Baptisia. Not usually found it home kits, this would be a good one to add to your at home pharmacy in a 30C or higher potency. Washington Homeopathics is my favorite online source for remedies.
I also have diarrhea meds, guaifenesin expectorant, electrolyte replacement fluids, a vaporizor, and different fever reducing meds for kids and adults. I keep have some favorite hidden treats/new toys to keep happy kids if they have to be stuck at home and isolated from friends.
Here is a link to percussive techniques for removing lung congestion.
What would you do if your daycare and schools closed and you had to be home with your kids. Thankfully, a pandemic shouldn’t take out the internet so you could continue to educate your kids solely by looking at educational web options. Some free resources are:
www.honorpoint.com (for multiplication drills/tests)