With winter comes cold and flu season. While many rightfully associate the winter months with opening presents, shoveling snow and spending time with family, this is also a time where many kids can become vulnerable to illnesses. Germs, viruses and opportunistic infections make themselves very prevalent in these times. Here are four ways you can help your kid keep these illnesses at bay.
One of the greatest means by which the human body combats infection is through adequate hydration. While your kids will probably prefer a steaming cup of hot chocolate as opposed to a cold glass of water in the winter months, those are the kinds of fluids they will need to fight off infection. Water helps keep the body’s cells nourished and sweeps toxins from out of the body. It’s recommended for your kids to drink about half their weight in ounces every day.
Kids have naturally high energy levels, but that should be regulated with sleep to allow their immune system some rest and facilitate healing and repair. The amount of sleep depends on the age of your child. For babies, around 12-18 hours is needed. For toddlers, it is 12-14 hours. In preschoolers, 11-13 hours is required and for kids 5-10, approximately 10 hours will do.
3. Hand Hygiene
Handwashing is simple, but it is for that reason why it is often neglected. Proper hand hygiene helps protect your body from contracting germs. The cleaner your child’s hands are, the better off they will be. Teach your kids to wash your hands before and after meals, after touching animals or other people, sneezing, coughing and touching garbage. There are a plethora of pathogens and germs that can easily be contracted without proper hand hygiene. This simple intervention will do a lot of good.
4. Change Toothbrushes
Believe it or not, but your child’s toothbrush can be a huge depository for germs. This is because the germs and bacteria often hide in bristles, which can lead to opportunistic infections. You should purchase a new toothbrush at the beginning of winter and if your child gets sick, replace it right away.
Winter can be an enjoyable time for many and the last place your child wants to be during the winter season is the hospital. It is also a busy time for hospitals and pharmacy compounding services. Follow these simple steps, and your child’s immune system will be stronger against potential infection.
By Emma Sturgis (Guest Blogger)