It’s almost inevitable. Your child starts school and soon enough they come home with sniffles, cough,and fever.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tricks to prevent your child from getting sick as often.
1. Keep Hands Clean
If there is one tip that is of the most important on this list it is frequent hand washing. Regular hand washing dramatically reduces the passing of respiratory (cough, runny nose, sneezing) and gastrointestinal issues (vomiting/diarrhea). Hand washing is more effective than sanitizer, but if you have nothing else the sanitizer will do.
Make sure they was their hands when they leave preschool or day care, after every play date, after using the bathroom, and before they eat. Teach kids to sing ” Happy Birthday” to themselves twice before rinsing- scrubbing for 15-20 seconds is key!
2. Be Active Every Day
Studies show that regular, moderate exercise can reduce the number of cold and flu episodes that occur over the course of a year by 25-50 percent. Exercising increases circulation and hence boosts the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria. These cells appear to work more slowly in people who don’t exercise than in those that do.
3. Get plenty of ZZZs
A good night’s sleep goes a long way. Stick to an early bedtime. Sleep deprivation nearly doubles the risk of getting a cold, because the body is too fatigued to fight infection. Babies need 14 hours of sleep total. Toddlers on average need 11-13 hours of sleep, and school aged children need about 10-11 hours of sleep.
4. Get the Flu Vaccine
Whether or not you believe in getting vaccinated it’s a proven fact that they minimize your child’s chances of getting sick. And even if they still get the flu it’s usually a milder form of the flu as opposed to if they didn’t get vaccinated at all.
5. Avoid Touching Your Face
Sucking thumb, picking nose, biting nails are all terrible habits that also increase a child’s chances of getting ill. So try to encourage them to avoid putting their hands in their mouths, or touching their face.
6. Eat a Healthy Diet
Meals with plenty of colorful fruits and veggies provide the vitamins and antioxidants necessary to fight infection. Look for foods rich in vitamin C (broccoli, oranges, strawberries), Vitamin D (milk, tuna, sunlight), and zinc (grass fed beef, lentils, yogurt). All these foods are also good for the gut flora which studies are now showing also help fight infection.