6 Tips For Combatting Germs With Your Child
A cough, a sniffle, a sneeze.
You’d be surprised by how easily germs are spread from person to person, but don’t worry just yet. Most of these germs are harmless and actually strengthen our immune response through constant exposure. By the time we’re fully grown adults, our immune systems are tried and true agents against disease.
But what about our children?
Their bodies are still growing and learning how to respond to certain germs. While we can’t protect them from everything, we can teach them how to protect themselves against some of the more serious diseases you encounter.
At Kyle ER, we encourage our patients to protect their health and the health of their loved ones by taking simple, but effective preventative measures. Keep reading for our tips and tricks on teaching your children some of these preventative measures.
If your child is sick, the best way to speed up their healing process and to prevent the spread of germs is to have them stay home. Set them up on the couch with their favorite cartoon, a bowl of soup and tuck them in.
This becomes more difficult when your child goes through sick “waves,” in which they feel fine for a few hours then suddenly are hit with a wall of nausea. They may try and convince you they’re well enough for a soccer game or birthday party, but the safest bet for your child, and other children they may come into contact with, is to stay home until they’re fully healed.
Protecting your body begins with fueling it correctly. We’ve listed some foods packed with nutrients and immune-fortifying vitamins.
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit
- Honey, which is a natural antiseptic
- Dark, leafy greens
If you’re feeling brave, you could try adding beet juice to your child’s regular choice of drink. Beets are naturally sweet and full of disease-fighting vitamin C.
The first step in preventing disease is to protect against it with immunizations. Since their inception, vaccines have prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths. Vaccinating your child doesn’t just protect their health, but the health of everyone around them.
Vaccines also protect your child’s education and learning. The less days they’re sick, the less days they’re absent from school and their peers, learning vital social skills.
Visit here to find a physician or clinic that distributes vaccines. Some pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens, also give vaccinations.
Wipe down surfaces at home, especially during cold season, to help prevent the spread of germs. If your child brings items to and from school, like binders, toys or blankets, ensure they’re routinely cleaned.
Keeping a completely germless household isn’t the goal here – actually, that can weaken immune systems. Instead, we recommend you take reasonable measures towards keeping surfaces and commonly used items clean with disinfectants.
Encourage your child to wash their hands often when they’re sick and routinely when they’re not. As a general rule, you should wash hands with soap under warm water into a lather for at least 20 seconds. If soap isn’t available, alcohol based sanitizers are the next best option. You can always give your child hand sanitizer with a design on the bottle to encourage routine use. Don’t forget to pin it to their backpack for easy access.
Cover the cough and sneeze
Germs from flu and other diseases are most commonly spread through droplets in the air from our coughs and sneezes. It can be difficult to get your child into a habit of covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze, so we suggest using a reward system that positively reinforces the action for them.
Visit here for more information on covering your cough.
Don’t let your child miss out on important time in school or with their friends because they’re sick – take these preventative measures against disease and protect their health. For more information about stopping the spread of germs, view the CDC’s guide online.
From our team at Kyle ER to your family, we’re wishing you a great start to the new school year! Let us know any tips you have for teaching children to prevent the spread of germs.