Are your kids constantly sick? How to avoid having your kids catch a head cold
Tips for a healthy, happy child
It's that time of year again – flu and cold season! If you don't want your kids coming home with a head cold and infecting the rest of your family, take these tips to mind.
Teach them how to wash their hands
Hand washing with soap is one of the best defenses your kids have against common colds, viruses and the flu. Teach them to sing the alphabet song or “row, row, row your boat” while they're washing so they know how long they should soap up for. It's fun and it'll make your kids more likely to actually wash their hands well. Washing hands with soap and water is a whole lot better than using antibacterial gel or hand sanitizer. Overusing antibacterial gel actually creates an environment that can create a super bug, one that is resistant to common meds and even antibacterial gel. You really won't want to get that bug when it comes around. Also, hand sanitizers take away the good bacteria that boost your immune system along with the bad.
Teach your kids to cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze or cough
This may not save your kids from a cold, but it will stop it from spreading to other kids. And if every parent instilled these skills into their kids, everyone would be a whole lot healthier. It's amazing how far sneezing and coughing can spread germs and bacteria. On the same note, tell your kids that they can and should avoid people who don't cover their noses and mouth when they sneeze or cough. They may feel rude doing so, but it will keep them healthier in the end.
Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep
Sleep is so under-appreciated, but going without enough sleep can cause serious problems for your kid's immune system. Sleeping allows your kid's body to rest and recharge so it's strong enough to fight off the bugs it comes up against during the day. After all, kids should sleep 8-12 hours a day. More hours of sleep is needed for younger kids; less hours for older kids.
Encourage a better diet
Asking your kids to eat their fruits and veggies is probably an uphill battle. Given the amazing, cold-fighting powers that most fruits and vegetables have, this is one battle you need to win. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin C. Getting these nutrients from food allows them to be absorbed better in the body than having your kids swallow vitamins. Eating a fruit at breakfast, one at lunch, and another for a snack are great, easy ways to get enough fruits in the day. Oranges and grapefruit are especially good for the immune system with a lot of vitamin C.
Exercise helps boost the immune system
Even if your kids have gym and recess during school, consider getting them into an extracurricular sport as well. Making sure your kids are active and exercising will boost their immune system and make them strong enough to fight off infections. Lots of exercise also helps kids sleep better at night, getting more hours of sleep in. So it's a win-win.
Using these tips as a family will help keep not only your kids free of a head cold, but also you and your spouse healthier and happier.