Cold season is upon us, and with it comes a plethora of viruses, colds, and flus. We all know how to help keep ourselves from getting sick with hand washing, vitamin C, etcetera, but what about keeping our kids from getting sick? That is a whole new battle. I can teach my son to cough into his elbow all day long, but chances are at his age he’ll forget. Or he will touch something that was infected by someone else. No matter how hard we try, our kids will probably get sick but here are my top things to do to help keep the germs away.
- We wash our hands. It’s obvious I know, but easy to forget. Unless I am away from a bathroom we use regular hand soap and scrub while singing the ABCs. We wash in the morning when we first get up. It’s easy to forget to cover your mouth while sleeping after all, and wiping your nose with your hand is so much easier when you are two than hunting down a tissue. We ALWAYS wash our hands before we eat. Especially if we are out and about. If germs are on toys, shopping carts, the walls, and your child touches those then uses those hands to put food in their mouth will probably end up eating germs. Gross. For that matter, while we are sick I try to avoid finger foods.
- My kids don’t like drinking orange juice, so getting their vitamin C that way is out. However, they will absolutely eat an orange. You can also find some fruit juices that have been fortified with vitamin C. Speaking of drinking, if your kids are already sick getting in extra fluids can help get rid of that cold.
- During the winter cold and flu season I often put on the humidifier on in my kids rooms. I put it on it’s lowest setting. The moisture in the air helps keep colds away, and keeps nasal passages from drying out. The winter can often be dry, the humidifier helps with chapped lips and cheeks too!
- My biggest advice on how to not spread germs is to stay away from breeding grounds when you know something is going around. For example, there is a stomach bug going around here so we are staying away from public playgrounds, inside play places or any other place where kids are en masse. Speaking of public, we often opt to use a stroller instead of a cart when out shopping. I know who and what has touched my stroller so I can be that much more confident that my kids aren’t getting germs from grocery carts. Sure, this could be a hassle while shopping, pushing a stroller while pulling a grocery cart. For me though, that is well worth avoiding a week of sick kids!
- And finally, if you or the kids are sick, be kind to the rest of us and if at all possible stay home.