As the mercury drops, your children’s immune systems are more likely to become weaker, and they to catch the flu or a cold. Cold itself does not cause viral infections, but a lower temperature will help bacteria and viruses proliferate in their respiratory systems, which will cause a cold or flu. This is why a higher temperature will help you prevent those. However, these are not the only things that will help you deter such infections from your children. Preventive treatments also help for this purpose. But below, we have more pieces of advice on how you can help your children stay healthy throughout the cold seasons.
Teach your children the importance of frequently washed hands
Cold and flu bugs won’t be able to survive and multiply on frequently washed hands. This is why this is the simplest strategy you can teach your children in order to keep them safe. Crucial times when they should be washing their hands are after play hours, after they come from school, before and after every meal or snack. Warm water and soap work perfectly for this purpose. Although in the past people usually recommended using antibacterial soap, it is better to avoid it, as it is not as effective as claimed, and it could do more harm than good, in many cases. There are plenty of guides on how you can teach your children to properly wash their hands: the hands should be soaked in clean, warm water, they should be rubbed for 20 seconds with soap, and then rinsed. To make it more entertaining for your children, you can teach them to wash their hands while singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, as it takes just enough time for them to scrub their hands well.
Also, make sure that teachers, caretakers and assistants are also mindful of their hand’s hygiene. Your children’s habits count, but so do your habits. Before preparing a meal, make sure to also wash your hands. Also, pay extra attention when handling raw meat, especially chicken meat. Once again, we emphasize that there is no need to invest in expensive anti-bacterial soaps. Only make sure to wash your hands properly.
Check if you kid’s school has a “sick kid” policy
Make sure that the school that your child is attending is having a reasonable “sick kid” policy. Most schools won’t let children home until they show violent flu or cold symptoms. These symptoms include vomiting, a fever, diarrhea and so on. However, in many cases, if there is a generalized cold or flu infection in the school, many may be sending children home at their first symptoms. You can also point to your child’s teacher if there are others with obvious signs of the flu or cold. If you see children sneezing, coughing or with other flu symptoms, inform the teacher and ask them if those children can be sent home.
Install a remote starter on your car
This may be the best investment that you can do for your comfort and your children’s health. Remote starter installation services are amazing, because of the outcome, mainly. Many seem to forget how uncomfortable is preparing our cars from time when the cold weather hits; and how is this affecting our children. In your quest of keeping your children warm and safe during the cold season, you may take this into account as an extensive measure. A warm vehicle, heated to the proper temperature will prevent temperature shocks in your children. Temperature fluctuations are a reason for which children’s immune systems are becoming weaker during the winter. By shortening the duration of cold exposure of your children, you also decrease the chances for them of catching a cold or the flu. By installing such systems, you can start your vehicle from time, from the comfort of your own home, by using your smartphone of choice. This will assure a constant temperature to which your children will be exposed, which will decrease the chances of catching a cold.
Vaccinate your children
Maybe just as important as maintaining a fluent temperature, is getting all the needed and recommended vaccination for your children. Yearly flu shots are necessary, just as are the rest of the vaccines that must be administered to young children. This will make their immune systems stronger and will decrease the chances of falling ill during the cold seasons. This is the best preventive strategy that you can apply.
Make sure that your children eat a well-balanced diet
A well-balanced diet will provide all the necessary nutrients for your children in order to boost their immune systems. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will certainly help your children grow healthier and stronger immune systems. However, keep in mind that there is no miracle food that will prevent them from catching a cold. Eating well should only be an additional strategy applied in general, not only during the cold months. Also, proper hydration seems to help when it comes to maintaining a proper health.
Rethink cold medicine
As parents, our first instinct when we see our children suffering from a cold, is purchasing over-the-counter medicine for them. However, paediatrics strongly advise against such measure, especially when it comes to children younger than 2. Moreover, make sure to avoid antibiotics, as they show effects only for bacterial infections, while most cold cases have a viral cause. As a result, you will only weaken your children’s immune systems, without any beneficial outcome. The best medicine you can give to your child when they catch the flu or a cold is plenty of fluids and rest. Antibiotics should only be administered at your doctor’s recommendation.
These are only some of the most effective strategies that you can apply in order to keep your children safe during the cold season. Make sure to discuss with your doctor any signs of cold or flu you might notice in your child, and vaccinate them as necessary.