What to Do When the Whole Family Has the Flu

Medically reviewed by Dr. Phil Mitchell MD, MS on November 27th, 2019

family sick with the flu

When the flu hits home, it hits hard. And, at one point or another, someone in your family is bound to fall victim to its nauseating symptoms. As the flu creeps its way from member to member, it can place an emotional and physical toll on you—the caregiver—especially if you’re experiencing symptoms, too. When this happens, caring for your sick family can feel like an impossible feat. Fortunately, there are ways you can help your family beat the flu this season without the stress. Here’s our guide on how to prep for flu and cold season and ways you can help your family beat its symptoms.

Flu-Proof Your Home

Preventing germs from spreading can minimize the probability of contraction during flu season, and you can never be too prepared. Prior to flu season, make sure that you and your family have taken the right precautions against contagious germs. In addition to reminding everyone in your family to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, you should also encourage them to:

  • Get vaccinated. Medical professionals agree that flu vaccinations are some of the best ways to keep your family flu-free—especially if your household has children under the age of 12 and/or elderly members, as they are at higher risk of contraction. Nowadays, there are many vaccination methods for the flu and a number of locations that offer them, so do your research and encourage your family to get vaccinated.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), practicing hygiene etiquette is one of the best ways to minimize the spread of contagious germs. It’s as simple as covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow—two solutions that help contain the germ-infested spray. 
  • Keep hands away from the eyes, nose, and mouth. Flu and cold germs are most commonly spread through contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. During flu season, take care to sanitize areas of your home, work, and shared public objects, like shopping carts. 
  • Practice healthy habits. In addition to the aforementioned health practices, encourage your family to follow healthy habits—sick or not! Wash hands with soap and water after coughing and sneezing, eat your greens, and take care of your mind and body. Keeping stress to a minimum can also help boost your immune system.  

Keeping your home clean and sanitized is one way to ward off contagious germs. If you’ve noticed your kids’ schoolmates or coworkers coming down with the flu, step up these precautions!

Stock Up On Essentials

As cold and flu season approaches, it’s a good idea to visit your local pharmacy to stock up on the essentials. Having access to common cold necessities like cough and cold products, tissues, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, and fluids—such as soups, broth, water, and fruit juices—can help you and your family nip common cold symptoms in the bud and prevent illness from spreading. These tools will help tremendously if your entire family, including yourself, comes down with the bug, saving you one more exhausting trip for additional cold-care needs. In addition to these over-the-counter solutions, it’s essential that you and your family:

Keep Hydrated

When sick, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to help your body fight germs and keep symptoms at bay. This, at times, can feel difficult, especially when dealing with the loss of appetite, nausea, and other feverish symptoms that often accompany the flu. Reach for water instead of soda, and try to consume mineral-rich broths and teas. If you or your family are experiencing symptoms of nausea, make sure you keep electrolytes up as dehydration in addition to the flu is a serious condition that can significantly impair your body’s ability to heal itself. 

Stay Well-Rested

Taking care of yourself is extremely important, especially when you’re sick. If you feel yourself coming down with symptoms, stay home from work to keep from spreading germs and give your body the rest it needs. If, after a few days of rest, you’re still not feeling up to par, it may be time to visit your primary care physician for professional medical treatment. 

Know When to Seek Treatment & Ask for Help

Whether you’re feeling grody or not, knowing when to seek medical treatment for your illness is an important part of giving your body the tools it needs to conquer the flu. This, however, can be difficult to manage if you and your family are all feeling the effects of illness. Instead of deliriously planning a trip to your primary care physician, shuffling yourself and kids into the car to only wait a half hour in a germ-infested waiting room, consider the benefits of on-demand medical care. 

home-care-dispatch-health

At DispatchHealth, we’ll send out one of our qualified medical teams to treat you and your sick family in the comfort of your own home. Our advanced care services can conveniently be requested via phone, mobile app, or online and our professional healthcare providers will arrive at your doorstep within a few hours. Here, they can treat your flu symptoms, test your electrolyte levels, and even administer IV fluids. We can also prescribe prescription medications and deliver them to your home, ensuring you benefit from stress-free medical attention that prioritizes your rest and health. 

To learn more about the benefits of at-home medical care, contact DispatchHealth today. We’ve got your back, flu season or not.

Sources

DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies. 

Sources referenced in this article: 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/flu-proof-home#healthy-habits
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html
  3. https://www.medbroadcast.com/channel/cold-and-flu/kids-cold-and-flu/what-to-do-when-the-whole-family-is-sick
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DispatchHealth Staff The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.