Let me start by saying I’m not a medical professional, BUT my mother was a Registered Nurse, so I feel like that gives me a little medical street cred. If your mom is an airline pilot, you probably know a little more about aviation that most, simply because you hear about it in your home all the time. Surely, we absorb something!
The buzz word right now is FLU. It seems to be affecting every household in America this year, and it’s worse than usual, because apparently, the vaccine doesn’t cover a lot of the strains out there. It’s a guessing game every year. The process for picking strains for the vaccine is intriguing. I won’t pretend to be more knowledgeable about the process than I am, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has the information on their website. You can read about that here.
Since the vaccine hasn’t been particularly successful this year, we are left wondering how to prevent the flu in our own households, or at least, how to minimize the risk. There’s the age-old recommendation of washing your hands well and often. We all have anti-bacterial wipes and sprays for decontaminating our homes. That’s common sense.
But is there more we can do? I have posted about the following two favorite products on Instagram, so now I want to link them back to flu prevention. (WARNING: if you’re easily offended, the name of the second suggestion isn’t so nice. Grandmothers will gasp.)
Drum Roll Please!
Product #1: Sweet’s Syrup I stumbled upon this one accidentally when I was shopping for some local honey.
Sweet’s Syrupis made in Charlotte (but they ship!), and is made from elderberries, spices, and local honey. It’s very popular in the Charlotte area. Lots of people swear by it. The gentleman who sold it to me at Berrybrook Farm on East Blvd, in Charlotte, had high praise for this product. Sweet Syrup’s website says this elderberry syrup made with spices and honey “treats symptoms of coughs, colds, allergies, and the flu. When taken regularly , Sweet’s Syrup boosts the immune system to help prevent sickness.” *Because it is made with honey, it should not be consumed by children 2 and under.* You can order it by clicking here.
I take it regularly, and several of my friends do, as well. Does it work? I can’t say for sure, but not one of those friends has been diagnosed with the flu this year…knock wood. Take only as directed. It tastes good, so it’s easy to remember to take it every day. I have several friends who say they’ve heard about the health benefits of elderberries, including antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, for years. Try Sweet’s Syrup unless you are allergic to any of its ingredients, and always ask your doctor before taking any herbal supplement.
And that brings us to our second flu-risk-minimizer…
Product #2: Maybe You Touched Your Genitals Hand Sanitizer. I know. The name is disgusting, but come on…it’s funny. What gets a teenager’s attention more than a hand sanitizer with a disgusting name? They will use it just so they can laugh at the bottle! I was introduced to this lovely product by my sister-in-law (a mother of three boys), who is a pharmacist with a wicked sense of humor. There are lots of good hand sanitizers out there, but this one gets a teenager’s attention, and they remember to use it!
We were on a flight during the holidays, and before our meal was served, my sister-in-law pulled this hand sanitizer out of her handbag and asked if I’d like to use it too. “Of course!” I took one look at the bottle, and we laughed and laughed. In fact, the photo I used above was taken on the plane. After using a few drops of the sanitizer, I passed it over to my teenage daughter and her friend, who found it hilarious too.
The crazy name made them remember it anytime we were about to have a snack or meal. I would hear, “May we use the Maybe You Touched Your Genitals?” They just liked saying it out loud, but they used it! (I probably should apologize now to the mother of my daughter’s friend.) You can purchase this product here. They also have other products with crazy names (and those names are worse!). Your teen will thank you.
There are lots of good hand sanitizers out there, but I picked Maybe You Touched Your Genitals for the laugh/memory factor. Any hand sanitizer is a great way to reduce your flu risk, but it doesn’t work for your teens if they don’t use it. Don’t go down without a fight about flu prevention. My daughter had the flu three years ago (she came down with it on Christmas Eve!), and it was a miserable week. That year, just like this year, she had the vaccine. This is just my creative way of getting her to use the hand sanitizer.
So there you go…Sweet’s Syrup and Maybe You Touched Your Genitals Hand Sanitizer…a winning combination for minimizing flu risk in your home. If you try these products, I’d love to hear your feedback!
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