Many parents send their kids off to school with a lunchbox and a prayer asking for them not to bring any germs home. It feels impossible to keep sickness from spreading throughout the classroom. Once one student is sent home, you expect quite a few children to follow. During cold and flu season, it seems inevitable for your kids to come down with something, no matter the precautions you take.
However, wintertime sickness isn't an unbeatable force. You can fight to keep your family healthy this season and avoid the setback of sniffling in bed yourself. Check out these eight secrets for keeping kids from getting sick this winter.
1. Promote an Active Lifestyle
Exercise can strengthen more than your kids' muscles. Regular workouts can reduce the chance of disease and bolster the immune system. Moderate exercise, such as short walks or bike rides, can lessen your chances of a cold developing. The healing process can also speed up due to regular physical activity.
During the winter, you can involve your children in winter sports or regularly schedule physical activities. Your energetic kids will love the chance to run around, and you can also take comfort in the fact that this invests in their long-term health, too.
2. Enforce a Sleep Schedule
Sufficient sleep is crucial to wellness. When your family's schedule becomes busy, you might allow a few late nights to catch up on homework or to hang out with friends. But lack of sleep weakens the body's ability to guard against sickness.
Set and follow a consistent bedtime for your kids to help keep their vulnerable bodies strong. You will help maximize their immune response to fight a cold or flu by helping them get the right amount of shut-eye. Growing children and adults should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
3. Maintain a Clean Home
Your family's surroundings play a significant role in creating a germ-free environment. One kid's germs can pass on to the next over typical surfaces. Rid your house of dirt, germs, and dust by setting aside committed times each week to complete an efficient and focused cleaning.
Use disinfectants for highly trafficked and touched areas of your home to minimize harmful bacteria. The most shared spaces have the potential to spread disease.
4. Give Supplements and Vitamins
Many families stock up on natural remedies and vitamins to fortify their bodies against sickness. Certain vitamins or supplements can reduce the length of colds or ease the symptoms, which could prevent your kids from missing school and you from missing work.
When vitamin C is taken regularly — not just when you come down with a cold — you can reinforce your immune system. Some prefer taking zinc to increase their ability to fight infection and regulate their immune systems. In lozenge form, you and your kids can diminish the severity of a cold, too.
5. Eat Healthy Meals
A diet full of vegetables, fruits, and healthy proteins can ward off sickness by supporting your wellbeing. Fix meals for your kids this winter that stimulate their systems and offer better defense against illnesses.
Look into the nutrient values of foods capable of boosting immunity and steering you clear of health complications. A typical favorite for kids, yogurt provides protein essential for your health and can potentially help keep sickness at bay as a probiotic.
6. Discourage Sharing
Instructing your kids to stop sharing may sound harsh. However, when children share foods and drinks, they can exchange germs, leading to sickness. Even cups and utensils need a thorough washing before you can pass them off to a friend.
Make sure to explain the reason for hands-off practices in the flu season to reinforce your children's idea of sharing in other situations. Tell your kids to avoid touching toys they've seen babies or toddlers stick in their mouths. During flu season, back off from sharing in the interest of keeping everyone as healthy as possible.
7. Teach Personal Hygiene
Hand washing is a vital measure your kids can take to scrub off germs they encounter throughout the day. If they slack off on handwashing and touch their face, the germs quickly can induce sickness.
Find ways to teach your children proper handwashing techniques to help reduce the spread of germs leading to common colds. Make handwashing fun and part of your daily at-home routine so your kids continue the practices while at school or friend's houses.
8. Limit Stress
When people are in high-stress scenarios, they become more susceptible to sickness. Stress responses disrupt the immune process and disturb the digestive system, leaving the body open to the risk of illness.
Participate in stress-reducing activities for children during the winter months, when cold season hits its peak. Taking time to relax and refresh your mind will help show your children the importance of stress-relieving activities.
Prevent Wintertime Sickness
With cold and flu season in full-force, staying healthy is challenging. But you can promote beneficial practices and cleanly habits to make it through the winter sickness-free.