If the warmer than usual weather may have you questioning if it’s really winter, spending time around little ones will surely confirm it is still winter cold season.
During the winter months, children tend to spend more time indoors, with the windows closed and the heat cranked up. The dry, uncirculated air proves to be a breeding ground for germs. Since children are often in close quarters for longer periods of time during winter months, they’re naturally touching each other more and sharing toys more.
It’s no secret that prevention is the key to cutting down on winter colds. Here are 5 proactive things you can do to help keep your kids healthy this season:
1. Encourage hand washing, more than usual
Always encourage hand washing before and after eating, after using the toilet, after touching pets, after coughing, sneezing or nose blowing or whenever hands look dirty. Children should be taught to rinse, later, rub for at least 20 seconds and then to rinse and dry.
2. Disinfect, daily
Add one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water to create a disinfecting solution. Use the solution to wipe down hard toys and play surfaces. Solid plastic toys can be put in the dishwasher on sanitizing mode to disinfect them.
3. Encourage rest
When we are running low on sleep, our bodies are less able to fight off colds and viruses. A lack of sleep may also suppress our immune system. Ensuring children get enough sleep may help to keep them healthy.
4. Serve nutritious foods
Serving a variety of nutrient rich foods, including colorful fruits and vegetables can boost antioxidant intake which may keep your immune system functioning at its best.
5. Keeps the kids home when sick
It can be tempting to send the kids to school when they are mildly ill, but doing so only feeds the germ frenzy. If a child has a fever or is not acting like himself, it can be a good idea to keep him home. If you depend on daycare of preschool as a means of childcare, be sure have a sick childcare backup plan in place (If you haven’t created one, check out this article on creating a backup child care plan).
While it is said it takes a village to raise a child, it could also be said it takes a village to keep a village of children healthy. Doing your part to prevent winter colds can help your child and his circle of friends stay healthy.