Spring may be here, but that doesn’t mean cold and flu season is over! The world is full of pesky little germs looking to infect our kids faster than they can say “ah-choo” but there are ways you can keep your family healthy. Learn how to keep your kids healthy and germ-free.
Wash your hands.
Hand washing is perhaps one of the most beneficial habits we can teach our children. Consider it a “do-it-yourself” vaccine that is a win for everyone, except the germs. Hand-washing is especially important before meals and after using the restroom. Keeping hand sanitizer within reach is an easy way to “wash” away those germs when you are on-the-go, but be sure to monitor younger children when using it.
Catch those coughs and sneezes.
From a young age, teach your children to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into their elbow instead of the little hands. This simple action will help to prevent them from spreading germs onto every surface they touch. Also, encourage your kids to keep their hands out of their mouth. If this is something your child struggles with reiterate the importance of hand washing.
Practice healthy eating habits.
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is another great way children can boost their immune system to ward off those troublesome germs. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and red, yellow and orange bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene. These two vitamins are proven to boost immunity and are great for your children (and for you too)! If your kids are anything like mine, convincing them to eat their veggies can quickly become an epic battle. Try making it fun, by cutting them into shapes or pair them with a great dip.
Move, move, move!
Exercise is a great way to keep your child and your entire family happy and healthy. Getting out and doing fun activities is a great way to achieve this. Whether you are walking to the park, playing on the playground, or simply playing ball in the backyard, exercise will quickly become a fun activity you can all do together. Ultimately, the healthier your body is, the stronger and healthier your immune system will become.
Get plenty of rest.
Another way to keep your kids healthy and improve their immune system is to ensure they are getting not just enough sleep but quality sleep as well. Children should sleep uninterrupted, anywhere from 8-14 hours per night, depending on their age (i.e. a 1-year-old requires more sleep than a 12-year-old). A good night’s sleep gives the body time to rest and protect itself from illness and injury. Additionally, well-rested children wake up alert, ready to concentrate on the day ahead.
Other ways to avoid germs.
Let’s face it, every time we enter a health care facility we are coming into contact with other people and their germs. It’s that time of year when the cold and flu viruses and other germs are out there, waiting to infect. I have yet to meet a parent who enjoys taking their child to the see their physician. Telemedicine offers an alternative method to receive quality health care without having to leave the comforts of your home. Through the use medical devices and telecommunication technologies (i.e. Skype and smartphones), diagnosis and treatment are now readily available without having to risk exposure to those pesky waiting room germs.
Keep Your Kids Healthy This Year
Every year we all commit to living healthier. In practicing these simple tips, you are on your way to keeping your kids and your family on the path to improving health this year. Remember, you’re kids are always watching; so make sure you are washing your hands and eating your vegetables!