Do your children get cold the way my kids do? Where it seems to happen every time they head back to school or shortly there after?With some simple precautions, you may be able to keep your children free from infections this cold and flu season, or at least relieve some of their symptoms faster and reduce their number of sick days.
Fighting Colds by Encouraging Cleanliness:
- Washing hands. The most effective way to stop colds is to keep your hands clean, and keep them away from your face, especially your eyes and mouth. Teaching our children to wash their hands frequently with soap for about 20 seconds at a time will help them learn a life-long lesson they can pass down to their children. A helpful tip I learned in college from my microbiology teacher: tell them to sing the Happy Birthday song at least one time around while washing their hands.
- Check your nails. Remembering to scrub under fingernails because that’s where germs get trapped. Seriously, using a nail clipper to clean the unwanted dirt can help in keeping those dirty germs out of our eyes and mouth. Keep your child’s nails trimmed short and use a nail brush to be thorough.
- Switch your towels. A dirty towel will undo all your good intentions. Keeping fresh towels available will help considerably. Also, consider using disposable towels, or wash cloth towels daily, when a family member is ill.
- Disinfect toys. Stuffed toys and other playthings can transfer germs too. Clean hard surfaces with diluted bleach. Hand wash teddy bears or put them in a plastic bag with baking soda, and give them a shake is a recipe I have still yet to use. But, I love the idea of keeping my kids stuffed animals fresh and clean. Let me know if you have tried this one.
- Limit sharing. Yes, sharing is caring. However, we need to make sure our children are sharing safely. Train them to use their own drinking glass and water bottle especially if they are still going to school while they are sick. It’s bad enough when we are all at home with our sick children to get them not to touch your glass. We don’t want them passing it around school either or picking it up from a friend.
Fighting Colds by Changing How You Feed Your Kids:
- Eat up. Serve your child a balanced and nutritious diet that will keep their energy up and give them the nutrients their little bodies need when they are sick so their body can fight off that stubborn cold.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of liquids is key. Water or tea will loosen up congestion, and warm beverages feel good on scratchy throats.
- Sip soup. Chicken soup is another home remedy that makes sense. Why don’t you start a family tradition if you haven’t already. My grandmother used to make the best chicken soup when it was cold outside & again if we got sick. A recipe I would ask my mother to make when I got sick. It helps pass down family traditions & keep your kiddos on track to getting better. It also provides them with essential nutrients.
- Try vitamins. I have found that taking vitamins to be very helpful for me and my family. If I may too sick to have an appetite to eat and gain the nutrients I need through the food I intake, I have my vitamins to take up the slack.
Other Strategies for Fighting Colds:
- Use a humidifier. Humidifiers can reduce coughing and make it easier to breathe by adding moisture to dry winter air. Clean them regularly to avoid mold. I have always hated these from a prior bad experience when my first-born was very little. But, I have since then found other things to be helpful. I am on course to grab a new Diffuser through doTerra along with their product Breathe® to try out for my family as an alternative to the humidifier.(Link to my doTerra advocate page provide in this post. I only gain if you decide to join. But, it doesn’t hurt to look to see if you like something. It is totally up to you to purchase & join.)
- Cover your mouth. Encourage your child to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. Germs are more easily transmitted by touch than by air, but it’s still the polite thing to do.
- Warm your feet. Many studies have cast doubt on the belief that you’ll catch a cold if you go outside without a coat or hat. On the other hand, there is some evidence that keeping your feet warm helps, so let your kids wear footed pajamas or socks to bed. Depending on the child. This only helps with 3 of 4 of my children. The 4th child get nose bleeds and that is a different task in itself.
Whatever way you choose to fight the cold season I hope you find this to be helpful to at least provide you with some information you didn’t know before.
~”Life Coach in Training”