Flu season is here, and that means one thing: your kids are being exposed to germs every day. While there’s no way to prevent them from ever coming into contact with someone suffering from the flu, there are a few ways you can keep your kids healthy this flu season.
1. Wash, wash, wash
The best and most proactive way to keep your kids — and yourself — healthy during flu season is to keep your hands clean. Cold and flu viruses are not airborne viruses, which means your kids will not catch the flu by being in the same room as someone who has it.
People have to touch the virus to catch it. This is why washing hands repeatedly and religiously is the best defense against a cold or flu. Germs are everywhere, and kids have a way of bringing their hands to their mouths so often it’s a wonder they’re not sick more often.
To prevent kids from becoming sick, make sure they wash their hands before they touch food. Have them wash their hands before their hands go anywhere near their mouth, nose, or eyes. Essentially, make sure your children wash their hands as often as possible, even if all they did was touch the same door handle as another child.
2. Teach kids the importance of good hygiene
It’s a simple method to prevent the cold or flu virus from infecting your child. Help him or her understand that biting fingernails, sucking thumbs, and even picking noses is bad hygiene that can spread germs and viruses.
Your kids might know that it’s gross to do the above-mentioned things, but they might not know that touching their mouth or nose can spread germs. This might be just the knowledge they need to encourage them to stop.
3. Get the flu shot
Immunizations are a great way to prevent the flu from invading your home. Make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible for a flu shot. While you’re at it, get one yourself.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet
One of the most common reasons that people, children especially, become sick is that they don’t take care of their bodies. What your child eats affects the immune system. If your son or daughter isn’t drinking plenty of water and eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients, there’s a greater risk of contracting a cold or flu virus.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Kids who get at least eight solid hours of sleep each night are generally healthier than children who don’t get that much sleep. To help your child stay healthy this cold and flu season, set a reasonable bedtime every night.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, a foster parent, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle to these children; teaching them they must eat right, sleep well, and practice good hygiene is necessary for good health. These are the types of life lessons kids need to hear from you, their adult role models.
The cold and flu virus isn’t going to affect your child if someone sick sneezes in the same room. What’s going to infect your child is when someone sick sneezes into his own hand, opens the door, and walks out … and your child then grabs the door handle to exit and then eats lunch without washing his or her hands.
The spread of germs is easy, but so is preventing the spread of germs. Talk to the children in your life about good hygiene skills and preventing illness. They’ll get it.
Originally posted on November 21, 2013 @ 5:29 pm