5 steps to prepare for cold and flu season

Cold & flu season is a trying time for families and single individuals, alike. A cold or the flu can leave you or loved ones out of commission for days or even weeks at a time. But,the early fall is the perfect time to build a healthy foundation for the coming months. Best of all, your flexible spending account (FSA) will make it even easier to get there!

Get a flu shot!

A flu vaccine is the most reliable means of preventing the spread of influenza, and for the 2016-2017 season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). Some of these shots protect for as many as 4 different strains of the influenza virus (based to match the most common circulating viruses), so be sure to go over your options with your doctor or pharmacist to find the ideal vaccine for your age and state of health.

Tip #1: Don't forget to submit a claim - flu shots are FSA eligible expenses!

Tip #2: Shop for Cold & Allergy products with your FSA at FSAstore.com!

Invest in hand sanitizer

Common colds and flu viruses are primarily spread by coming into contact with objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the germs of cold sufferers. The presence of these germs could put you at risk of contracting a virus, which is why hand sanitizer is a great investment in the fall. Look for a product that contains an alcohol concentration between 60 and 95 percent to ensure that it will kill viruses and bacteria.

Tip #3: Hand sanitizer is an OTC product that is eligible for FSA reimbursement with a prescription from a doctor!

Enjoy the great outdoors

One of the best defenses for staying healthy during the fall months is staying active. It's great to bundle up and head outside for some exercise, even on colder days. Exercise boosts your overall fitness level, which can strengthen your immune system to fight against potential infections.

Tip #4: Get ready for the great outdoors with our Outdoor Enthusiast category!

Maintain a proper sleep schedule

Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner. Adequate sleep is vital in preventing colds and infections. Sleep deprivation can have an adverse effect on the immune system by leaving one more susceptible to seasonal viruses. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, while children should get 9-11 hours.

Prepare for inevitable sick days

Even with these mindful, healthy lifestyle changes, catching a cold can happen at any time. Make sure you have the ability to bounce back if you take a sick day. Stock up on comfort foods like soup, fruit juices with vitamin C and herbal teas.

Tip #5: Your FSA can cover a wide range of OTC medications. It can cover decongestants, pain relievers and expectorants. You'll need a prescription for FSA reimbursement of these items!

Before cold & flu season hits, make sure you have everything you need to keep your family healthy by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA/HSA/HRA-eligible products!

Cold & Flu Relief