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When the weather starts to get cool, a lot of people start to get sick. So what’s making people sick and how can you avoid falling ill? Join Jessi and Squeaks to find out!
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SOURCES:
http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/flu.html
http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/word-virus.html
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-causes-a-fever/
When it gets cold outside, it’s time to bundle up and take good care of yourself. Because cold-weather time is cold and flu season!


You’ve heard of colds -- everyone gets them! That’s when you’re sneezy, and cough-y, and maybe you’re running a temperature.


The flu is just another kind of cold, and it’s really no fun -- it often makes you feel achy and sore, and hot, and all-around miserable.


But have you ever wondered what causes a cold and the flu?


They’re both caused by something called a virus.


Viruses are very small...too small to see even with most microscopes. They can make a big difference in your body, though, because they can make you sick!


Yes, Squeaks, since viruses can make us sick, we sometimes call them germs. Not all germs are viruses... but the ones that can cause the flu and colds definitely are!   


Now, in order to make you sick, the flu virus has to get into your body first. It usually gets in through our nose...our mouth...or our eyes.  


And once it gets in...the virus starts to make copies of itself until there are lots of them in there.


But don’t worry! Your body has lots of ways to fight back!


It might seem kind of weird, but sometimes it’s the things that your body does to fight viruses and other germs that make you feel kind of yucky.  


Take, for example, mucus ...that’s the sticky, runny stuff that comes out of your nose.


Your bodies makes mucus to trap the flu virus and other germs that are in your nose and mouth. When mucus runs out your nose, it carries the flu virus with it, along with other stuff your body has used to knock them out!


Gross, maybe...but it works!


When mucus runs down the back of your throat, after a while it can make it hurt, too -- that’s why you sometimes get a sore throat when you’re sick.


But washing out the virus isn’t the only thing your body can do to fight the flu! Can you think of another thing that most of do we’re not feeling very well?

 

That’s right, Squeaks - we sneeze!


When you sneeze, air comes out of your mouth and throat really quickly. As the air goes by, it picks up some of the virus pieces and carries them outside of your body! So sneezing is your body’s way of sending viruses and other germs on their way!


Now, if you’ve ever had the flu, you probably know what a fever is! A fever is another way that our bodies try to get rid of the virus.


When germs are inside your body, it can make itself hotter than normal.


And guess what? Viruses hate that! Because when it gets hot, it’s harder for the viruses to make copies of themselves.


And that helps your body get rid of germs more easily!


So, your body has lots of cool ways to defend itself.


But what else can you do to make yourself feel better when you get sick?


Well, getting lots of rest is one of the best things you can do when you’re not feeling well. When you rest, you save energy — and your body can use that energy to get rid of the virus!


Another thing you can do is to drink a lot. Healthy things like water, some juices, and even soup will give your body the things it needs to help you feeling better soon!


Of course, the best thing to do is to not get sick in the first place.


And to help with that, the number one thing to do is…


...wash your hands! A lot!


Plain old warm water and soap can go a long way in keeping you from getting sick. It’s especially important to wash your hands when you get home from school, or the store.


And remember how we said the flu virus often gets in through your nose, mouth, or eyes? The other thing you can do is to keep your hands away from these parts of your body as much as you can...even though it can be hard to remember to do sometimes!  


And you can also keep of germs from spreading to other people by covering up your coughs and sneezes!


Remember, germs are leaving your body and going into the air when you cough and sneeze.


So, if you can, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands.


If you can’t get to a tissue in time, then cough into your elbow instead of your hands.


So try to keep clean, and stay healthy, so you can go outside and enjoy the cold weather!


Thanks for joining us on SciShow Kids! Do you have a questions you’d like to ask us? Let us know by asking a grownup to help you leave a comment down below, or send us an email to Kids@SciShow.com!


Thanks, and we’ll see you next time.