Taking care of a sick family can be exhausting, and it often feels as if germs are passed back and forth for weeks. If you are tired of dealing with constant illnesses throughout the winter months, then you need to come up with a comprehensive plan for sanitizing your home and boosting your family’s immune systems.

Keep Your Hands Clean

When it comes to preventing illnesses, very few tactics are as effective as washing your hands. As soon as one of your family members gets home, they should immediately wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and antibacterial soap. Your family should also wash their hands whenever they touch any potentially contaminated objects such as schoolbooks, backpacks, shoes, coats, and grocery bags.

Eat Foods That Boost the Immune System

Many people are surprised to hear that dietary habits can have a huge impact on the immune system. If your family doesn’t fill up on nutrient-dense foods, then it will be very difficult for them to fight off infections. As a general rule, you should try to have your family eat plenty of fresh produce, complex carbohydrates, and lean sources of protein. During the cold and flu season, you might want to have them take daily multivitamins as well.

Improve Your Sleep Schedule

A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and greatly increase your risk of catching a cold. While you are sleeping, your body produces and releases vital cells that track down and kill invading germs. To improve your sleep schedule, you should try to establish a strict bedtime routine that you follow every night. You must also wake up at the same time each morning so that your circadian rhythm doesn’t get thrown off.

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Clean and Service the HVAC System

A damaged or dirty HVAC system can cause a variety of health problems ranging from runny noses to severe respiratory problems. Before the weather gets too cold, you should have a heating repair specialist fix and service the HVAC system. Many HVAC companies offer duct sanitizing services as well, and you might want to schedule one of those appointments every five or six months.

In addition to these few tips, you should also keep an eye out for any of the early warning signs of the flu or a cold. Catching those symptoms early on will allow you to combat the illness before it spreads to every person in your home.