Tips to keep your child healthy during cold and flu season are very valuable. They can help you miss fewer work days, have fewer pediatrician trips and most of all, have a healthier child. Of course you can’t eliminate all the risks of cold and flu season, but you can lower them significantly by following these tips to keep your child healthy.
1. Get Their Flu Shot
First and foremost, get your child vaccinated against the flu. This is one of the most important t tips to keep your child healthy. The flu is no little bug. It can be a very serious illness that turns into the need for hospitalization. It’s also a good idea for mom and dad to be vaccinated, too.
2. Make Sure They Are Getting Plenty of Rest
Many people underestimate the importance of getting enough rest. Getting sufficient rest gives your immune system an enormous boost. School age children can need as much as 10 hours of sleep according to The Mayo Clinic. Your children may protest an early bedtime but it is the healthiest choice for them. It also helps ward off irritability and improve their ability to do well in school.
3. Exercise Matters for Kids Too
Most of us realize the importance of exercise for us as adults. But children actually need exercise, too. It doesn’t have to be anything strict or rigorous. Playing on a basketball or soccer team counts. So does an hour or so of playing outdoors. There are many different ways children can get their exercise in.
4. Limit Their Junk Food
Most kids love junk food and would inhale a steady stream of it if their parents would let them. While it is okay for children to have a treat now and then, you don’t want to allow too many. It isn’t that giving them the treats is the whole issue; part of the issue is that if they are filling up on junk they aren’t going to have room for other, healthier foods. Eating a balanced diet will help to boost your child’s immune system. Try to keep plenty of fruits and veggies on hand for snacks for them.
5. Teach Good Hand-washing Techniques
Hand-washing is the first line defense in warding off illness. Washing your hands stops many germs from ever making it to being a threat to you. It is important to teach your children how to wash their hands. You need to make sure they are using soap and scrubbing long enough. The CDC recommends that you wash them for 20 seconds which is about the length of time it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice.
6. Give Them a Children’s Multivitamin
A children’s multivitamin can fill in any gaps your children may have in their diet. Children are known to go on food jags where they only want to eat a small variety of foods. This is not a good thing. Giving them a multivitamin can help make sure they are getting the vitamins and minerals they need until they are eating properly again. If you are unsure what multivitamin to give your child ask your pediatrician for a recommendation.
7. Avoid Other Sick Children
As much as you can, avoid sick children and sick adults too, for that matter. While you can’t completely live in a bubble, you don’t have to knowingly expose your child to germs. If you know their friend has had an illness, hold off on play dates for a while. If your parents are sick, it might be best to wait a week or two before visiting. These measures can really make a difference.
These are 7 things that you can do to help keep your child healthy through cold and flu season. What are your best tips for keeping your child healthy? I would love to hear them!