Protecting Your Kids During Cold & Flu Season

The cold and flu season is hitting the region really hard this year. A number of factors help to make this yucky bug circulate quickly, including a virulent strain and a flu vaccine that wasn’t as effective as in years past. Cold weather and spending time indoors only helps this bug make its rounds. So what can you do to keep your family safe from sickness? We have some tips to help keep your little ones healthy this time of year.

Protecting Your Kids During Flu Season

Being sick is the pits!

Getting sick is never fun, but for small children it can be dangerous. Young immune systems have a more difficult time fighting off illness. So what can you do to keep your family healthy? Here are seven tips for avoiding illness in your home?

  1. Get everyone in the habit of washing their hands. No matter where you are, from work to the grocery store, chances are you have run into someone who is sick. There is a reason that soap and water are a doctors best friend. They wash their hands constantly to avoid spreading germs.A splash of soap is not usually enough, however. It takes at least twenty seconds of good scrubbing to wash off a virus, so an easy trick to help small children wash their hands correctly is to sing their ABC’s. Once the song is done, their hands should be germ free!
  2. Germ juice is your friend too.  Hand sanitizer, or germ juice, as we sometimes call it; can help fight the cold and flu virus if you are not near a sink. For places like the supermarket or sports practice, where lots of germs can linger, hand sanitizer is a quick and easy way to “wash” your hands when you can’t wash your hands.These come in a range of sizes and fun smells, so using germ juice is a convenient way keep those tiny fingers clean. Just be sure to keep it out of reach of curious kiddos. Those fun colors and smells may also be tempting to taste and could cause bigger issues.
  3. Disinfect everything you can. Little fingers like to touch and feel all kinds of surfaces, it is through sensory exploration that they learn. This time of year though, it can be difficult when some of these surfaces harbor germs. The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for hours after it lands on something.It goes without saying that if someone is sick at home, you sanitize EVERYTHING you can get your hands on, from doorknobs to bedding. When you are out and about, a packet of sanitizing wipes may help keep the flu at bay. The handle of the cart at the store, to a shared pen a the bank; all of these may have been handled by a sick person before you. A quick sanitizer swipe may make the difference between catching something or not.
  4. Put healthy foods into your body, and your family’s. A healthy body has a better chance of fighting off a cold or flu. Feed your body right by eating lots of healthy fruits and veggies to keep your “machine” running smoothly. There is a reason for the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Kick it up a notch by feeding your family a rainbow of foods.
  5. Stay hydrated.  Just like eating healthy foods, getting enough water is a good way to keep your engines running. When it is hot outside it is easier to remember to drink lots of fluids to stay refreshed and hydrated. In the winter time, it is just as important to drink enough water. A glass of OJ for an added boost of vitamin C is like drinking liquid sunshine.
  6. Get plenty of sleep. Everyone knows that when you get sick it is important to get plenty of rest to help promote healing. Getting some shut-eye is also an important way to stay healthy. When your body gets “run-down” it is more susceptible to getting sick. Make sure everyone in your family is getting enough rest, to prevent sickness.
  7. Avoid the “sickies.” While we love to promote social time and sharing, when sickness goes around it is okay to not to share. If you know someone is sick, it is perfectly acceptable to ask them to keep their distance from your kiddos. A little distance between the healthy and the sick this flu season, is a great way to avoid spreading the virus.

The cold and flu season will be over before you know it. But in the meantime a little prevention can go a long way. We hate to see any of our kiddos in the ALC family get sick. Here is wishing you all a very HEALTHY 2018.