The holidays are right around the corner, with cold and flu season hot on its tail. Don’t resign yourself to a season of stuffy noses and sore throats. Stave off those pesky winter viruses and plan for a holiday season filled with joy and merriment instead thanks to these helpful ways to keep your kids healthy during winter.
Supplement their diet
If your kids prefer chicken nuggets and pizza over broccoli and beans, it can be hard to ensure they’re receiving their necessary daily nutrients. Supplementing your child’s diet with daily vitamins ensures that they receive the proper nutrients needed to fight off the common cold.
One of the most important vitamins to keep your kids healthy during winter is vitamin D. Vitamin D is mainly absorbed through exposure to sunlight but, because the sunshine is often in short supply during the winter, our bodies may develop a vitamin D deficiency during this time. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased likelihood of contracting a cold or the flu. These can potentially lead to more harmful illnesses, including osteomalacia, osteoporosis, or even rickets—though it is quite rare.
Teach good hygiene habits
Good health begins with good hygiene. Lead by example and teach your kids the importance of proper personal hygiene at an early age. Taking the time together each morning and evening to brush their teeth will help your child get into the habit. Washing your hands before a meal and regularly throughout the day is also a good practice for your children to get in the habit of. Additionally, teach your kids to cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Sneezes can travel as far as 200 feet, and covering your sneezes is one of the easiest ways to keep your kids healthy during winter and prevent the spread of germs.
Check the sick policy at your child’s school
Most schools have some sort of policy in place to prevent germs from spreading between classmates. However, some policies are a bit more lenient than others. As such, it’s important to thoroughly consult the policies for your child’s classroom well in advance of flu season. While policies may vary from school to school, in general, most schools require any child with a fever, upper respiratory infection, or symptoms consistent with the flu to stay at home. Keep an eye on your child’s classroom; if you begin to notice that multiple kids are absent from school with an illness or if children are still in class despite obvious flu symptoms, you may need to take additional measures to protect your child from germs.