Jasly Koo, Dietitian, from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, a member of the SingHealth group shares some tips on how to prevent the flu in children.

Get the flu vaccination done

The best way to prevent the spread of flu is through vaccination. As it takes approximately 2 weeks for a vaccine to be effective, your child (6 months to 5 years) should get vaccinated before the peak season starts. According to the HPB, the flu peak season is generally from December to February and May to July. Do note that the flu vaccine does not protect against bird flu or H7N9. Currently, there is no vaccine for this strain.

Get enough shut eye

Ensuring enough sleep and rest helps build your child’s immunity. Your child’s immune system can be weakened by elevated stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Most toddlers and young children need 10 to 13 hours of sleep in a day, whilst most teens require about 9 hours of sleep.

Practise good personal hygiene

Good personal hygiene and habits also help prevent the spread of flu, such as

1.    Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throwing away the tissue after using it.

2.    Avoiding public places and using a surgical mask when you are ill. Keep in mind that masks should be changed regularly every 4 hours or if it becomes moist or damaged.

3.    Washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.

4.    Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill.

Read on to find out if taking supplements, especially Vitamin C, helps prevent children from having flu.

Disclaimer: All HealthXchange articles are intended for general information only and provided on the understanding that no surgical and medical advice or recommendation is being rendered. Please do not disregard the professional advice of your physician.