Batten down the hatches…we’re in for a cold spell!
But that doesn’t mean we have to all get colds, right? Most kids are returning to school which exposes them, and everyone in their homes, to lots of illnesses. In addition, homes and schools in the northern hemisphere crank up the heat which creates indoor conditions which dry out throats and noses which make us more susceptible to viruses and colds. I didn’t know that…did you?
Check out what WebMD has to say about the need to improve indoor humidity during the winter months: http://www.webmd.com/women/home-health-and-safety-9/dry-indoor-air
So other than that, what can a parent or teacher do to help kids stay healthy?
Here are five simple steps:
- Wash hands often: everyone should have their own towel…perhaps a different color for each member of the family. This helps colds from spreading. Another good idea is to keep a basket of small washcloths near the sink…instead of reaching for the big bath towel to dry a little pair of hands, there will be less laundry with these smaller ones.
- Dress appropriately: when it is cold, children should be dressed warmly, with hats or hoods on their heads.
- Get enough sleep: young children need LOTS of sleep so set up bedtime routines and stick to them. Our body renews and cells regenerate during sleep. Did you know that children between the ages of 2 and 5 need 11-14 hours of sleep? For more information about sleep and young children, you can go to: http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/sheet.html.
- Make every meal and snack count: a good breakfast is a MUST and snacks can provide additional important nutrition, especially for picky eaters. Breakfast doesn’t have to be a bowl of cereal. One of my sons loved having left over pizza or lasagna for breakfast. For more ideas on healthy meal planning for the whole family, you can visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/habits.html
- Keep a sick child home: I know it is difficult, especially when parents work…but your child will get better sooner and the teacher and the other children in the class will thank you. If your child has to stay home, a board game, some picture books and a pad of paper and box of crayons will help pass the time.
These are simple steps…but they really work!! How you keep your family healthy? Please share in the comments. Someone will win a set of washcloths and someone else will win some fun packs of tissues.