A pair of children rest on top of their mother on the couch with the words "Top methods for preventing illness in your home."

Do you feel like your family is constantly battling one illness or another? This can be particularly frustrating when you have young kids in the home. It might feel like you are never done being sick.

As your local primary care physician in Bee Cave, we are passionate about ensuring that you and your family are healthy and happy. At our family medical clinic, we provide an array of services including vaccinations, urgent care, and preventative care. If you are battling illness in your home, feel free to come visit us to learn more about how you can improve your family’s health.

In the meantime, check out these top methods for cutting down on illness in your home.

#1: Practice Good Family Hygiene

When you have young kids in the home, it is extremely difficult to stop the transfer of germs. While you can only do so much to keep your toddler from sneezing all over, as soon as your kids are old enough, teach them proper hygiene. Remember, even as an adult, you need to continue to practice the following important hygienic tips:

  • Cover Your Mouth And Nose: Make sure everyone in the home covers their mouth and nose anytime they are sneezing or coughing. Preferably, do so with a tissue that can be thrown away after it is used. Otherwise, make sure you wash your hands or arm if you sneeze or cough on it.
  • Wash Your Hands: From the youngest kid in your home to the oldest adult, practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, particularly after sneezing, coughing, using the bathroom, or prior to eating.
  • Keep Your Hands Down: Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands. It is extremely easy to spread germs this way and you can spread an illness from one area of your own body to another.
  • Avoid Close Contact: If anyone is sick in your home, try to avoid close contact. While this can only be done to a certain degree as a parent, keep sick kids separated from healthy kids, even if this means shuffling around who sleeps where.

#2: Keep Your Home Clean

How clean is your home? Germs love to live in a home that is cluttered and rarely disinfected. If you don’t clean your bathrooms, kitchen counters, and floors very often, this could be the cause for spreading germs.

Have the whole family pitch in and clean your house daily. From sweeping up the floors and a quick mopping to disinfecting toilets and sinks, the cleaner you keep your home, the less chance there is of illness lingering. Invest in some quality cleaning supplies. The good news is that there are plenty of environmentally safe and family-friendly cleaning supplies on the market today that still disinfect your home. You can avoid harsh chemicals while still preventing the spread of germs.

#3: Incorporate Healthy Eating Habits

There is only so much you can do to prevent exposure to germs. The reality is that every time you leave your home, there is a chance that your body will be infected. That is why it is critical that you boost your immune system. Your body is designed to fight germs and can often be very successful at beating illnesses that you aren’t even aware you were exposed to. However, in order to do so, your body needs the right fuel.

Make sure your family eats well-balanced, healthy meals and snacks. Focus on incorporating lots of leafy greens and veggies into your diet. Purchase fruits that are rich in vitamin C — a critical vitamin for your immune system. For picky eaters, find creative ways to mix in healthy foods. For example, you can blend greens into a smoothie, making it hard to detect the flavor.

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#4: Spend Time Exercising

Did you know? Your lymphatic system is a complex network of tissues and organs responsible for getting rid of toxins in the body and other unwanted materials. Your lymphatic system also transports lymph throughout your body, which is a vital fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells. When your spleen — a part of your lymphatic system — detects bacteria or viruses, it creates white blood cells and your lymphatic system carries these throughout your body to stop the infection from spreading.

One important thing to note about your lymphatic system is that unlike your blood, it does not have a heart to pump it. Therefore, the movement of your lymph is dependent upon the motion of your muscles and joints. For this reason, you and your family need to spend time each week exercising. This could be something as simple as taking an evening walk or bike ride together. Every movement helps to spread your infection-fighting lymph throughout your body.

#5: Focus On Lowered Stress And Good Sleep

How stressed would you say you and your family members are? Do you get adequate sleep? These are two huge factors to your health. Stress is the leading cause of numerous diseases and will weaken your immune system greatly. While some stress is part of a normal life, if you find that you or your family members are constantly experiencing a high level of stress, it is a sign you need to find a way to relax and let go. Whether this means cutting out commitments from your schedule or meeting with a therapist to work through underlying stress, focus on the mental well-being of every family member.

Hand-in-hand with stress, the amount of sleep you get will play a major role in your well-being as a family. If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, your body is missing out on vital time to heal and fight infections.

#6: Know When To Visit Your Family Physician

Finally, there comes a time when your body can’t fight illness on its own. In these cases, schedule a visit to your family physician in Bee Cave. We are here to assist you in finding solutions for ongoing sickness in your home. While you often simply need rest and time to heal, there are situations where a prescription is a must. From ear infections to strep throat, don’t delay in visiting your doctor when needed.