It can be a battle to keep your child healthy, especially during flu season. Being sick is no fun for kids. As a loving parent, you may be wondering what else you can do to keep those germs out of your child’s system. We’ve compiled a list of extra precautions you can take to keep those germs away.
Always remind your child to wash their hands after they use the bathroom, before they eat, come home from school, come in from outside, or after handling anything messy. If you have a small child, gradually teach them to wash their hands by themselves. It’s important to make sure that they understand the important of washing their hands when they are without you. If they are dependent on you to remind them, they are bound to forget or otherwise neglect to do so when you aren’t there. Younger ones always love to feel independent, and this is a great opportunity for them to practice!
No Germ Sharing
Teaching your child how to share tends to be a priority from the get go; especially when siblings are part of the equation! This is something that most parents strive for. But when kids learn how to share and start seeing how happy it makes other people, they may end up wanting to share everything!
Where do you draw the line without backtracking on the sharing train? Encourage your child to share, but talk with them about healthy sharing. Simple ways to do this are to teach them to not share anything that comes in contact with their face and head.
Staying Clean in Public Restrooms
When you are out in public you may not be able to keep track of everything your child places their hands on. But it’s important to stay on top of hand washing. Sanitation in public bathrooms is paramount for child safety. Explain to your child how crucial it is for them to keep away from the germs of others. Make sure they know not to touch surfaces in public bathrooms and that it’s essential for them to wash their hands before they leave.
Since it is impossible to have them wash their hands in public, then have them use a disinfectant wipe. This will show them it is essential for them to maintain proper hygiene even when washing their hands isn’t an option.
Disinfectant Wipes During Flu Season
A stash of disinfectant wipes is an essential for your car during flu season or any other time when a bug is going around. Periodically have your child use disinfectant wipes on their hands. You can’t keep your eyes on them 100% of the time, but this will keep your mind at ease if they decide to touch their face without you looking.
Keeping Their Hands Off Their Face
The quickest way to spread germs into our systems is to touch our face with unclean hands. Don’t be fooled: even adults struggle with this one. In fact, you probably do it a lot more than you realize and if you think for a moment where your hands have been after a short time in public it can be a pretty scary thought.
Remind your child how germs spread, and that it’s all for a matter of their health. Just like anything else they learn in life, it’s going to take some time to master. The key is to stay persistent. Children thrive off routine and consistency. Don’t get frustrated too quickly with them if they forget at first.
When your child absorbs the right vitamins from their diet they build up their immune system. This is one of the best ways to protect your family from colds and the flu. Make sure the whole family eats a diet with plenty of vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics. Our immune system protects us in ways that proper hygiene can’t even compete with.
Year Round Outdoor Activity
Keeping up with outdoor play year round is extremely encouraged. The body adapts better to the weather changes, and the immune system obtains a much needed boost. Stick to at least thirty minutes of outdoor play. Plus the sun gives your child the best source of vitamin D. Once the blood starts pumping the outdoor air won’t feel as cold.
Children need more sleep to help their little bodies grow. Sticking to an early bedtime routine will aid your child’s immune system to receive the rest it needs so it can continue protecting them.
Cover Mouth and Nose
When your child covers their mouth and nose when they sneeze they slow down the spread of their germs. Stick to the elbow rule: whenever your child needs to cough or sneeze have them do so into the crook of their elbow. If they sneeze into their hands, have them wash their hands from any excess germs.
Steer Clear of Sick People
Teach your child to politely refuse toys from other children that are sick. Show your little one coughing and sneezing, and tell them this is what they should avoid in their classroom or any public play area.
When it comes to their health it is never rude for them to politely step back. This also teaches them to advocate for themselves, which will be extremely useful later on in life.
Staying hydrated is a great way to wash toxins out of your child’s system. If you have a difficult time getting them to drink water, then add a little bit of honey and lemon. The lemon will add to their vitamin C level.
Disinfect Your House
Clean your house with your child, and explain how important it is to stay on top of keeping your house germ free. This will help later on when they are older and are ready to start taking on chores.
Steer Clear of Antibiotics
When possible, try to handle the flu or a cold naturally. Antibiotics will clear out the good bacteria in your child’s system that it needs to stay healthy and fight off viruses. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should abstain from them entirely. But try to avoid them as a first response to any sickness.
Avoid School Outbreaks
It’s not always a feasible option, but when a sickness outbreak is especially bad at your child’s school, sometimes closing down for a few days is the only option. If your school’s administrators don’t seem to consider this as an option, get in touch with the principal and ask them if they have considered it. Just a couple of days could be enough time for contagious kids who don’t yes manifest symptoms to begin running the course of the sickness, effectively quarantining the illness and keeping it more under control. When necessary, remember that you always have the right to keep your child at home to protect them (and the rest of your family) from flu outbreaks.
Last But Not Least: Rest
When all else fails, and your child acquires the flu or a cold just let them rest. If they fall ill, then keep them home from school whenever possible. If you can’t take the time away from work, then call up their grandparents, or see if another relative can watch them. The more they sleep off the cold or flu, the sooner they will get better.