Keeping kids healthy all winter long
by Melissa Brodsky
Winter brings with it colds, flu and runny noses. Kids, in particular, are more at risk because of being in school with so many other kids. Parents, there are very simple ways to keep your kids AND yourselves healthier over those long winter months.
Wash hands: Teach your children the importance of washing their hands frequently. Before meals (and after). When they or someone around them are coughing and sneezing. After using the restroom. And…when they come home from school. Their little hands are exposed to so many germs so the more they wash, the less risk they run of getting sick.
Sleep: A good nights sleep has so many important health benefits. It recharges and revives the body. A minimum of 7 hours, every night, is optimal for everyone. Small children need at least 10 hours but sometimes, that’s impossible.
Layer: The same as adults do, layer kids clothing. Not only jackets, hats and gloves (scarves pose a strangulation risk for younger kids, consider a neck warmer) but their clothing, as well. Layer kids with undershirts or short sleeve shirts underneath long sleeves. They can shed during the day if they get too warm. Send your kids with extra socks and mittens in case they get wet when playing outside during recess.
Humidifiers: For children (and even adults) that are susceptible to colds or bloody noses, run a cool mist humidifier in the bedrooms. It adds moisture to the air and keeps the nasal passages from getting too dry.
Food: Eat healthy. Whole foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables are great snacks and side dishes. Serve foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Also, chewable vitamin supplements are imperative and strongly suggested by most pediatricians. Give your child a snack before heading outdoors to play, the boost in their metabolism and energy keeps them a little warmer.
Coughing or sneezing into the crook of the arm instead of directly into your hands is one way to avoid spreading sickness.
Incorporate more fresh basil into your meals. The herb can assist in cold and flu prevention as well as many other health benefits.
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