We all struggle with trying to keep our kids healthy, especially during the cold and flu season. While there is no foolproof plan to stop them from getting sick, there are a few things that can help prevent the spread of germs.
Keep Your Hands Clean
This is one of the most important steps to help stop the spread of germs. Experts say that we should wash our hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
I’ve found that a simple way to teach this to children is by having them sing the ABC Song while washing. Not only do they learn their alphabet but the song lasts for just about the right length of time to get their hands nice and germ-free. And, for when you’re not by a sink, keep a pocket sized hand sanitizer readily available when you are on the go.
Don’t Touch Your Face
This task can be a tall order, especially for toddlers who seem to have their hands by their face frequently. Germs can easily enter the body through direct contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Teach your kids to keep their face touching to a minimum. Also, if they do sneeze or cough, have them do so in the inside of their arm instead of into their hand or the air. This will decrease the risk of them spreading germs to others.
Get the Annual Flu Vaccine
It seems that with each passing year, there are more super germs arising and these new strains are more resistant to antibiotics. As each new flu season approaches, the vaccine includes protection against the current circulating germs that can cause the flu. Anyone over six months of age is encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have the annual flu vaccination.
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
Whether you’re a child or an adult, eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is crucial for maintaining your health. Also, be sure to provide your child with whole grain foods, probiotics (such as yogurt) and limit their sugar intake.
A daily multi-vitamin can also be beneficial, but it cannot act as a replacement for the healthy foods they should be eating on a regular basis. We are also reminded in Scripture of how important it is to honor and nurture our bodies.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. —1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
Have a Good Night’s Rest
As adults, most of us don’t get enough sleep each night. But, are you aware what the sleep recommendations are for your children? On average, babies should be getting at least 14 hours of sleep per day and toddlers should be in the range of 10-14 hours daily.
When a child begins attending elementary school their sleep pattern will shift towards 10 to 12 hours each night, and when they reach their teenage years it reduces to eight to nine hours. If our bodies are not well rested, they become fatigued and this makes it much more difficult to fight off germs.
Regular Exercise Activities
It is important that children are active every day. Try to have your child take part in some sort of exercise for a total of 60 minutes each day.
Going for a walk, playing a sport, having fun at the park, hiking and swimming are just a few examples of fun things to do with your child that will help them stay physically fit and healthy. This is a winning combination for both children and parents. When we share these activities with our kids we help maintain our health and create fun memories of quality family time together.