As the summer months begin to come to a close, for many households, there is a mixed bag of feelings. For some, mostly the kids, it is a disheartening time, one in which the long, often lazy days are coming to end, and one where hanging out with friends and going on adventures is replaced with going to class and homework. For parents, it can often be a relief, with the household return to its normal state, allowing for some semblance of normality. However, whichever side of the fence you find yourself on, there is one thing that can all be agreed upon and that is with the return of school comes to the increasing likelihood of getting sick. And while there is no shortage of ailments at the ready to put us on the disabled list, there is one that teachers, parents and even students all fear – pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that causes the air sacs of the lungs to become inflamed; filling up with fluid and pus, causing cough, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. The problem with pneumonia is that while most people will recover completely from it, it still has the potential to be deadly, and is the largest killer of children under 5 the world over. So what can you do to prevent it from spreading this school year? Glad you asked.
Get plenty of rest – This may sound like the advice given to a person who is sick, however, getting plenty of rest is important to those who are healthy, at least, if those people want to remain healthy. Getting an adequate amount of sleep will help bolster your immune system and decrease the likelihood of you contracting something.
Drink plenty of fluids – Again, not just for those who are sick, staying hydrated is key for a healthy body. Drinking plenty of fluid, especially water, helps to keep mucus loose, which can help to prevent its buildup.
Get you and your children vaccinated – Have you been vaccinated yet? No, well you should. Vaccines are available for many different types of pneumonia as well as the flu. And much like you should get vaccinated, that should go especially double for your children. Despite what you may have heard, vaccines are completely safe and are imperative to helping to prevent serious outbreaks of potentially deadly illnesses.
Practice good hygiene – While pneumonia can spread in the air, it is often spread through human contact, which it is why it is so important to practice this first line of defense. It is sound advice to make a habit of washing one’s hands several times a day, especially after being exposed to large groups of people.
Don’t smoke – While this is good advice if without mentioning pneumonia when you are talking about any type of illness that impacts the lungs, you can rest assured the smoking will only further exasperate the problem. And just in case you are thinking, “my kids don’t smoke,” remember that if you live in the same house as them, it is best practice to lead by example and take all of the aforementioned steps to prevent pneumonia this coming school year.