5 Tips to Help Keep Your Family Healthy during Flu Season

Once you start to plan out your “home for the holidays” travel, yo might forget to think about how you and your baby might be exposed to germs and viruses during air travel or visiting your family and their kiddos. 

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The risk of a cold or flu to both mom and baby can be serious—with things like reduced milk production and a host of other issues—but there are many precautions that you can take so that you can travel and still feel safe and protected. 

Here are some general tips to keep you and baby healthy during the contagious holiday travel months. 

Make Hand Washing a Priority: Make sure your toddlers or school age children wash their hands with soap and water when they arrive home. Get into the habit of washing your hands thoroughly and using hand sanitizer before touching the baby.

Ask Your Sick Relatives to Wait Until They Are Better: It’s not rude to ask people to make sure they are healthy before they visit. For anyone that’s been recently sick, two weeks of symptom-free health before they get anywhere near you or your little one should be standard. 

Reduce Exposure: Young or school age children pose the highest risk exposure to viruses and bacteria. Change school-age kid’s clothes once they get home, and have them use a small amount of hand sanitizer before touching a newborn.

Avoid Stuffy Places: Mamas and infants should avoid stuffy, poorly ventilated places where other at-risk individuals gather. Pathogens are equally passed through airborne and touch, and no ventilation keeps the little buggers stuck in stuffy spaces

Consider a Flu Shot as Prevention: Often flu shots are covered by insurance. If you’ve had a good experience with flu shots in the past, consider it before the flu season starts.

Look for these early signs of fever or head cold symptoms: 

  • Nasal drainage
  • Cough
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Low urine output

If you or your baby have any of these above symptoms, head straight to your doctor to try and catch a sickness early while it can still be treated. 

Rather than feel a little stressed about the possibility of getting sick or arriving with a sick baby on your hip, you can feel a little better knowing that there are many things you can do during these weeks leading up to the festivities, to make sure your holidays are healthy and happy for everyone. You can also check out our in-house nurse Kelly’s useful tips on traveling with your baby and keeping both of you safe and comfortable. 


Linda M. Hanna, RNC, MSN/Ed., IBCLC, and co-founder of Mahmee, has been a registered nurse since 1978. She pioneered the Great Starts program at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills, which was so successful it was adopted by Kaiser locations throughout the US. She also developed Cedars-Sinai's Lactation Education program. 


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