Unfortunately, flu season is in full swing. According to the CDC, we are currently in a pattern of widespread flu activity here in North Carolina, as is most of the United States.

For those of us who haven't fallen victim (knock on wood!), we are doing everything we can to stay healthy and germ-free. For parents, it can be even harder because you have to not only protect yourself but your children, and let's face it, kids don't always know what to do to prevent the spread of the flu. Here are some helpful tips for parents -- or anyone -- to help keep the flu and other illnesses away.

  • Get a flu shot. It's not too late!
  • Wash hands frequently. For kids, especially younger ones, encourage them to practice counting to 20 or sing a song while they scrub.
  • Cut your children's fingernails to keep dirt, grime, and germs out from under them.
  • Keep common areas of your house clean, especially areas that are frequently touched or shared including door knobs, cabinet and drawer handles, faucets, toilets, keyboards and mouse, remotes, video game controls, etc.
  • Disinfect toys.
  • Frequently wash your bedding and towels. During flu season, it's not a bad idea to wash them once a week.
  • Opt for liquid soaps at sinks instead of bar soap.
  • Keep your distance from others who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home!
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Use a tissue, but if you don't have one, sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
  • Get lots of rest, stay hydrated, and eat right.

We hope your family stays healthy! Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping the flu away? The Hawaiian Shaved Ice team would love to hear them. Share them with us on our Facebook page.