Winter is a wonderful time full of family, holidays, and making memories. This time of year also unfortunately means cold and flu season. While many parents do their best to keep their kids healthy, close proximity to others can certainly make it challenging (this is especially true for kids in crowded schools and daycare centers). That’s why the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center want to share some simple winter reminders to help keep your kids healthy throughout the chillier months.
There is no shortage of childhood sicknesses that have a knack for popping up as the weather begins to turn. Common colds become a lot more common during the winter months. Flu season also picks up considerably during this time, traditionally peaking around February. Other notable wintertime ailments to be on the lookout for include bronchiolitis, pneumonia and strep throat.
Several recommendations you can do to help your kids fight off germs and avoid illness this winter include:
- Ensure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date and that everyone in the family has gotten their seasonal flu shots.
- Teach your kids effective, thorough hand washing – 30 seconds with soap & warm water.
- Teach your kids to resist touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
- Keep hand sanitizer or disposable wipes available when hand washing is not an option.
- Teach kids to sneeze into a tissue (when available) and throw it in the trash right after.
- Make sure your kids have enough of their own school supplies like pencils, crayons, etc… to limit their exposure to potential germs from sharing.
- Help build up your child’s immune system by providing healthy foods, ample exercise and plenty of nightly sleep.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that even following the most diligent routines will ensure your child doesn’t catch a cold. If your child does get sick, be mindful of not only your child, but those that may be around them. Help protect their peers and schoolmates by keeping sick kids at home until they are able to return germ-free. Generally speaking, kids can return to school as soon they are feeling better and their fever has been gone for 24 hours (with no Tylenol or Ibuprofen needed). When you’re taking care of a sick child, try to remember that the vast majority of these wintertime sickness will pass in about 7-14 days. Do your best to protect your kids, but remember to take care of yourself as well this time of year. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment or a flu shot, please contact Children’s Wellness Center today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.