Did you know that this year is the one-hundred-year anniversary of the global outbreak of the Spanish flu? It was the worst pandemic in the history of the world, killing 50 to 100 million people worldwide. And today, everywhere you turn, there’s coughing, runny noses, and tissues. It may not be a second outbreak of the Spanish flu, but flu season is definitely here. As you take steps to keep your family healthy, don’t forget the familiar tips for avoiding sicknesses. You may start dosing your children with vitamins—if you don’t already—and remind them daily to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Here are a few more reminders for staying healthy when all around you are falling ill.
Wash Your Hands When You Get Home
At school, children pass around germs and sickness like some wild game of hot potato. Since you homeschool, you already have a big advantage. But your children still get exposed to sicknesses whenever they go out—to church, homeschool co-ops, the store, the library, or even sports games. It’s important for them to wash their hands as soon as they get back home. You may even consider keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer by your front door or in your purse.
Let Your Lifestyle Support the Immune System
It’s a simple truth that our daily routines do more for (or against) our immune systems than anything else we can do. More than ever, now is a good time for you to ensure that your children are getting plenty of sleep, eating right, and exercising. Are you an early-morning homeschooler? Consider pushing your start time back to ensure your children are getting a full eight to ten hours of sleep. Have picky eaters? Consider trying some new recipes to make healthy greens more appealing. Too cold to play outside? Consider some indoor games that include movement and exercise.
Learn About the Human Body
Perhaps the best way to ensure that your children stay healthy this flu season is to give them a healthy understanding of how their bodies work. The more they know about what keeps them healthy, the more capable they will be of making wise decisions throughout the day. Each grade of the BJU Press elementary science line includes a unit about the human body and its systems. If you haven’t reached it yet, consider skipping ahead to cover it early. Science 1 even features a special discussion on staying healthy.
So what does staying healthy this flu season have to do with the Spanish flu? While the average strain of flu won’t be nearly as deadly as the 1918 one, flu viruses still pose a very serious threat to many. Doing their best to stay healthy is a small service your children can do for others who may have compromised immune systems or may be at severe risk from the spread of a virus.