As parents, the last thing we want our children to have is a sickness. Even if it’s just a simple cold, it’s still undeniably stressful. Why? Because this illness is tricky as it seems similar to Influenza, more commonly known as flu. As early as March 2018, the DOH has already noted 21,572 cases of flu-like illnesses affecting both adults and children between ages 1-4. Scary right?
Now that it is once again high time for flu, the recent Expo Mom 2018 held in Ayala Center Cebu invited moms from all over the Queen City of the South, to be further empowered with crucial information about keeping their families safe and healthy. The #Mompowerment campaign creates a community of moms who share personal and relatable stories on how to deal with the ups and downs of motherhood including dreaded contagious illnesses for both children and adults.
Dr. Jonathan Lim, former President of the Philippines Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Cebu, provided an expert’s point-of-view on why moms should pay close attention to what everyone dismisses as the common cold. As the first-aiders in our homes, we are the key to keeping the family safe from influenza. Here are the five things every mom should know about Flu:
1. Flu is not the same as common cold.
Flu and common cold most of the time are considered synonymous due to similar symptoms of the two diseases. However, moms should keep in mind that flue is more severe than common cold. Bed rest and drinking plenty of water do not always work on flu, as it is caused by a viral infection. Moms should be vigilant because if flu is not treated properly it my result in severe complication to certain individuals.
2. Spreading flu is inevitable.
Part of growing up is to play with other children. Unfortunately, flu is one of the most contagious diseases that can easily spread through contact. It is important for moms to teach the proper coughing etiquette to their children to avoid spreading the virus. Usage of disposable tissue to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing is highly recommended. If it is not available, it is better to cough or sneeze into the upper arm or sleeve to avoid using one’s hands. Being exposed to many bacteria, it’s important for children to learn to clean their hands after playing.
3. Rainy season is flu season.
The start of the school year is also the start of the rainy season and the cold weather often brings the flu virus. Moms are advised to take extra precautionary measures during this time and be more observant with their children’s health. While the cases of glue are more rampant during this time, the outbreaks of flu for tropical countries like the Philippines are irregular and are occurring throughout the year.
4. Adults are just as susceptible to flu as children are.
As much as adults would want to protect their little ones, parents need to know that they too are potential carriers of the disease. Parents can also get flu from their surroundings, especially in their workplace and pass it on to their children at home. The risks of getting flu are even greater for pregnant women that they may be at risk for spontaneous abortions or complications from the disease.
5. Prevention is always better than the cure.
Moms would always want to rock motherhood in the most practical way possible, but as the cliche goes, “health is better than wealth.” In considering the costs of treating flu, people often discount the indirect costs they shoulder when they have flu. One of which is the loss of productivity. Whether it’s the children missing school, adults missing work, or the whole family missing out on a vacation, treating flu can be more expensive than preventing it.
Now is the perfect time to have our kids and the rest of the households vaccinated. One thing I’ve learned from the event was that flu vaccine is not included in the list of free vaccines given to children (only to senior citizen). This might not be the case in the rural areas but since we’re living in Cebu City, it is our job as parents to work on the budget needed for the vaccines. It’s a bit pricey but worth it.