Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Fall is here with its crisp air and beautiful fall foliage. Unfortunately, fall also marks the beginning of cold and flu season.

 

There are plenty of things you can do to keep your kids as healthy as possible this season.

-Wash hands frequently. 

Your child is exposed to bacteria and viruses daily. Whether it’s through a favorite shared preschool toy, a bathroom faucet or a doorknob, exposure to viruses can happen quickly. The best defense is simply using soap and warm water to disinfect hands after playing outside, before meals and snacks, after bathroom visits, and after petting animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 10-15 seconds of hand scrubbing during each hand washing.

-Use hand sanitizer. 

When warm water and soap are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be another effective defense to keep hands germ free. But parents should use caution, especially with young children, as hand sanitizer can be dangerous if consumed. Keep out of reach of children.

-Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow. 

Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue. If a tissue isn’t available, use your elbow. Kids shouldn’t cough or sneeze into their hands as this only spreads germs more easily.

-Teach young kids how to blow their noses. 

Encourage little ones to avoid putting their fingers in their noses and teach them to use a tissue as soon as they are old enough. Throw away tissues immediately after each use.`

-Drink more water. 

Staying hydrated can help your body fight viruses.  Plenty of water also helps to keep mucous thin, making it easier to cough up or blow from the nose.

-Eat a healthy diet. 

Kids might not like fruits and vegetables, but they can help fight illness. Making sure your child is getting the proper nutrients and vitamins can help boost the immune system.

-Get a good night’s sleep. 

Studies show that poor sleepers became sick more often. Make sure you child gets the recommended hours of sleep each night.

-Disinfect your house.

No one enjoys scrubbing countertops and toilets, but doing so can reduce the number of germs in your house. Be sure you are disinfecting toys and household surfaces, especially kitchens and bathrooms.

-Avoid people who are sick.

This seems obvious, but it might be necessary to “quarantine” household members who become sick to avoid spreading the illness to others in the house, especially young children. Also, make sure your child stays home from school if he or she is sick.