Preparing Your Children for the Cold and Flu Season

Written by on January 3, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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sick-childJust as you wipe your brow in anticipation of the bus picking your children up for school, you realize it is now time to prepare for battle.

This time, you do not have to keep the kids busy all summer long. Rather, you will be spending countless hours washing, scrubbing, and disinfecting the home as a way to combat the germs they will undoubtedly bring home. Many parents struggle to keep kids healthy especially at the start of the school year because it is simply too easy for germs to make their way in. What can you do? What do you need to do?

Germs and School – The Link

The problem is not that your children are more susceptible to germs during the school year. Rather, their immunities have not changed. The problem lies in the child’s proximity to other children filled with everything from running noses to slimy hands. Because they sit near children that are ill, you can count on your child being exposed to germs. Add to that the shared lockers, lunch tables and desks and you have lots of risk on your hands.

With limited time on your hands and plenty of other chores to manage, you may be wondering what exactly you can do to ensure you do not have sick kids at home throughout the year.

Tips for Prevention

Even before you send the kids off to school this year, be ready for cold and flu season. You can do this in many ways and the more ways you incorporate into your routine, the better. These tips can get you off on the right foot.

#1: Wash Your Hands – Then, Do It Again

The most important and most effective way of preventing ailments including viruses of all types is to wash your hands. Encourage your children to wash their hands prior to eating or drinking at school. Before they do anything at home, they should wash their hands.

It is also a good idea to teach your kids not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. You do not want the germs on their hands getting into their bodies. Imagine your child stepping off the school bus. Every other kid on that bus has put his or her hand on that railing, too. As he or she walks home, your child has the risk of taking in those germs unless the child avoids touching their face and washes their hands when they get in the door.

#2: Know the Truth About Sanitizers

As you worked on filling that school-shopping list, there is no doubt that you saw the bottles of liquid hand sanitizers. These have become commonplace at schools. Yes, they are a good thing, assuming they are made to be 99 percent antibacterial or better. Provide one to your child. Attach it to their book bag and encourage them to use it as often as necessary.

Teach your children, though, that this is not meant to be a replacement for washing hands. Only a thorough washing can provide ultimate protection from germ infestations.

#3: Create a Healthy Environment and Body

It is also very important to encourage children to be healthy from the start. If their body’s immune system is functioning at its best, chances are good your child’s body will fight off invading bacteria and viruses effectively. Here is how to make that happen, according to ABCNews.

  • Provide a nutrient rich diet including large amounts of vegetables to your child.
  • Encourage them to drink orange juice – freshly squeezed or no sugar added varieties. The Vitamin C in it can be a great tool for fighting off ailments.
  • Get enough sleep. Children need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep a night. This can help their bodies to fight off any type of infection or virus.
  • Get exercise. At least 20 to 30 minutes of physical exercise each day is critical to giving your child’s body a healthy start. Those that are physically active are less likely to be ill.
  • Maintain your home in a clean and orderly manner. Use sanitizing wipes to wash off surfaces every day. Do not forget those doorknobs and cell phones, too.

Sure, that cold may still happen but it will be far less worrisome than if you were to deal with it at full force. Arm yourself with the ability to fight off cold and flu germs this year. It can make a significant difference in your child’s attendance at school and your ability to work.

This is a guest post.  The Author Aishwarya Vohra likes to write about healthy habits and natural remedies to a lot of health problems. She also gives parenting advice in some of her articles.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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