5 Tips to Keep Your Child Free From the Flu

No one wants to hear that word.

Unfortunately, winter means closed up houses, closed up schools…and lots of germs waiting to find you. Kids bring home a labful of microorganisms — whether they spend time at daycare or grab the bus and head to the classroom, the flu virus is not far behind!

Monkey Balm is here to keep you healthy and full of monkey business this winter season.  And we are going to share a few tips to get you through it without grabbing for the tissues and hot honey tea.

  1. The CDC is a goldmine for great wellness ideas and warnings about influenza outbreaks in your area. While it pays to be vigilant, if you are in a particularly hard hit area use extra caution. The CDC has a map that monitors the range of influenza activity (not the severity of the flu) – and unfortunately 2017 is an active year with nearly every state experiencing a widespread level of infection.
  2. Washing your hands is the best way to prevent potential infection. If water and soap is not readily “at hand,” use an antimicrobial waterless cleansing product. Carry these antibacterial liquids with you when you go out in public. Most stores carry these sanitizers in convenient travel sizes. Use the gel after touching handles, shopping carts and elevator buttons.
  3. Don’t touch your face, and try to avoid handling personal objects (like cell phones) without using the sanitizing gel. Gently clean your cell phone with a mild disinfectant.  Contact the manufacturer for help with this.
  4. Be sure to use a disinfecting wipe on your car keys, steering wheel and house doors (particularly the front door and the bathroom doors), refrigerator and sink handles, computers/laptops (check with the manufacturer for a safe cleaning product) and handbags.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Cold and flu germ-laden droplets may remain infectious for several hours, depending on where they fall. Germs generally remain active longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces than on fabric and other soft surfaces.”

The Mayo clinic also reminds us that the flu and cold virus are predominantly spread through direct contact with an infected person (handshake, or handling infected objects). Be sure to tell children to not drink from shared bottles or glasses and to not share food or utensils.

If you are sick, follow this one simple rule: stay at home! Avoid work, shopping/errands and school when you are ill.  Most people are contagious for about a week. “Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.”

If you do catch a cold or the flu use common sense sanitation practices. Cover your nose when you sneeze – but NOT with your hand. Use a tissue or sneeze into your sleeve. Always wash your hands after using the tissue, never leave used tissues lying around and be sure to disinfect those faucet handles regularly.

Historical extra

The pandemic of 1918-1919 was unusual. It targeted and killed those in the prime of life. The military estimated that 43,000 WWI troops died of this disease. Nearly 5% of the world’s population succumbed to the “Spanish Flu.”

This Edwardian verse was sung by children and it serves as a grim reminder of this tragic epidemic.


I had a little bird,

Its name was Enza.

I opened the window,

And in-flu-enza.”


Monkey Balm wishes you a healthy and fun winter season. Keeping your skin hydrated and itch-free ends with Monkey Balm, but it begins with a wholesome lifestyle. Here is one last tip to ensure you get through this winter. As we all know getting plenty of rest is important to boosting our immune systems. Don’t forget to pay special attention to maintaining a nutritious diet for your family, get out and join in some vigorous exercise and build some family adventures in the outdoors.

Being outside is good for our minds and our bodies. Kids and nature go hand-in -hand.  Nature offers us so much…and there are no flu viruses lurking in the wild!

Keep it safe, stay well and get into the outdoors!

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.” John Muir