Having Your Kids Healthy In Winter
As the cold season is stepping deep into our lives, it brings along colds and flu viruses. You wonder how you can protect and keep your kids healthy in winter and preserve them from getting sick at all.
Many common known winter viruses are airborne, so if your child takes a breath within 3 to 5 feet of someone who is already sick, it can easily catch the cold itself. It is good to know that most people that catch the viruses, are contagious even before they develop any symptoms.
Pulling away your child from a coughing or sneezing friend doesn’t bring any guarantees that it won’t end with similar symptoms itself.
What Should You Do?
If you want to keep your kids healthy this season, there are several simple steps you can take to help fight off germs and keep your kids safe.
1. Awareness Of Washing Hands
Regular hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to get rid of cold and flu germs. Teach your child to wash his hands with soap and warm water:
- after he uses the toilet
- before any meal or snacks
- as soon as he comes home from school
- from the playground or
- from a friend’s house
You should clean your hands too, especially before preparing any food and after wiping those runny noses. Any soap will remove germs from the skin’s surface.
2. Teach Them To Avoid Touching Eyes Or Nose
Unwashed hands are covered with thousands of germs. When a child rubs his eyes or nose, he’s putting those germs directly onto his mucous membranes, where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Explain what might happen if he touches his eyes or rub his nose. Teach him to use a tissue when dabbing teary eyes or an itchy nose.
Also, teach your child to use tissues when he sneezes or coughs.This won’t prevent him from getting a virus, but it will help keep him from giving one to someone.
3. Check School Policy For Sick Kids
You should make sure your child’s school has a reasonable policy on keeping sick kids away from healthy ones. Most facilities require a child with a fever, flu, an upper respiratory infection, vomiting or diarrhea, an eye infection, or a rash – to stay home until these symptoms withdraw.
4. Try To Boost Their Immune System Naturally
Give your child a variety of healthy foods so he gets all basic nutrients he needs. Make sure he gets plenty of sleep each night, as well as lots of physical activity every day.
5. Teach Your Child To Blow Nose
Encourage your child to blow his nose frequently to get rid of all the extra mucus his body is producing while he has a cold. Teach him how to do it and why it is necessary to do it properly.
6. Enough Rest
The more rest your child gets, the sooner he’ll feel better. So encourage a small siesta each day.
When your child’s not resting in bed, set him up on the couch and do some quiet activities, like reading a few new books, or watch a children’s video or book on tape, try putting some puzzles, try drawing or coloring supplies or playing some board games.
It all benefits to make the current situation easier.
7. Humidify The Air
This is especially important at night sleep and during naps when a persistent cough, or difficulty breathing can prevent your child from getting the rest he needs.
The moist air from a humidifier or vaporizer, will thin your child’s mucous secretions, helping to calm his cough and relieve congestion.
When children are sick, they loose body fluids easily especially in cases of high fever or diarrhea.
To replenish these lost fluids, encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, such as water, juice, an electrolyte solution or milk.
9. The All Mighty Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to make cold symptoms less severe and may shorten the duration of a cold.
Be careful not to “over-dose” your child. Kids should have no more than 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day. (A cup of orange juice has about 120 mg, while many chewable vitamin C tablets have 500 mg).
10.When To Call A Doctor
While most winter viruses clear up within several days, some can turn into more serious conditions that require prompt treatment.
Call the doctor if your child has any of these symptoms:
- High fever or a milder fever that lasts for more than three days
- Diarrhea or vomiting which can lead to dangerous dehydration
- A very sore throat combined with a fever
- Trouble breathing (a possible sign of a bronchial infection or pneumonia)
- Ear or face pain, which can signal an ear or sinus infection
When you’re taking care of a sick child, remember that most winter illnesses pass in a week or so, and in meantime, all of them will ultimately help strengthen your child’s immune system.
As your child gets older and builds up immunity to viruses including many of the 200 that cause the common cold, he’ll log fewer and fewer sick days.
Keeping kids healthy is not an easy task but is is a manageable one.
In the meantime, keep up the hands washing…
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