Cold and flu season is almost here, and you want to protect your child’s health. You know the basics, of course. You know that you should keep your child’s hands clean, feed them good nutrition, and avoid people who are already sick. Still a lot of parents could use some help when it comes to specifics. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five ways to protect your child’s health this season.
Hand Washing Songs
Let’s start with hand washing. You know that you should encourage hand washing during cold and flu season. Did you know that hand washing is most effective against germs when it lasts at least thirty seconds? Encourage your little one to sing a song or nursery rhyme while they wash their hands. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is a good length. Other good choices are I’m a Little Teapot, The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and similar songs. While you’re at it, try to make hand washing a habit with your child. Get into the habit of washing your hands every time you enter the house and encourage your child to do the same.
Saline Nasal Spray
Here’s a simple, inexpensive way to protect your family during cold and flu season. Use saline nasal spray. This kind of nasal spray doesn’t contain any drugs. It’s just a saltwater solution, and it’s safe for children to use. How can something so simple prevent illness? Well, dry nasal passages give germs and viruses easier access. Saline spray keeps the dryness away, which keeps the germs away, too. Make sure that everyone in the family has their own bottle. You can find small bottles made especially for children. For best results, use the nasal spray a few times per day: once in the morning, once at bedtime, and once in the middle of the day.
Encourage Healthy Eating
We all know that healthy eating is the best way to boost the immune system. That said, if you have some picky eaters on your hands, you’re in for a challenge. Look for ways to encourage healthy eating in your child. During non-eating times, find ways to teach your child the relationship between food and health. You can use children’s books to help you get started. For some children, a reward-based system works. Maybe your child can earn a fun experience for every week that they eat all of their vegetables. This way, they develop positive associations with healthy foods. If it’s the texture of food that bothers your child, look for ways to alter that texture.
Encourage Active Play
Exercise does wonderful things for the immune system. During this cold and flu season, make sure that your child gets a lot of active play time. For an added immune boost, have your child play outside. Vitamin D plays a big role in immune function.
Use Calming Activities
Stress lowers immune function. This is true for both adults and children. Just like anybody else, your child needs healthy ways to calm down when they’re feeling anxious. You and your child can do calming activities together. You might learn some deep breathing techniques or take up yoga together. You might also listen to meditation podcasts. And yes, there are some meditation podcasts for young children.
You should also make sure that your child gets enough sleep this cold and flu season. Just like exercise and nutrition, sleep is a vital part of preventing sickness. The active play time that we mentioned earlier will help. Children who play hard also sleep hard. However, try to help your child move on to more restful activities by late afternoon. Too much activity before bedtime can prevent restful sleep.
Cold and Flu Season
Looking for tips about cold and flu season? What about childhood chores, crafts, and other childcare topics? Then you’ve come to the right place. Check this blog every week for more information. In the meantime, are you looking for a wonderful preschool? Then check out Legacy Academy. At Legacy, we emphasize life skills like proper hygiene, staying active, and more. Contact us today to learn more about the Legacy difference.