Spreading germs can be quite easily done between small children. Playing together when one child is sick is almost a given that others around him will be exposed to viruses and bacteria that could easily make them ill. Sharing items in school or sitting within a close proximity can also do the trick.
Luckily, there are some steps parents can take to help reduce the chances of their children getting a cold or even the flu.
Tips to Keep Your Children Cold and Flu Free
- Wash your hands! Teach your children the importance of hand washing, especially after playing with friends outside or before eating. Also, promote proper hand washing methods by being a role model, cleaning your hands when necessary.
- Show them the right way! Telling your kids to wash their hands isn’t enough. They need to know how to correctly wash their hands in order to truly disinfect them. Be sure they use enough soap, rub their hands together for 20 seconds, and lather the front and back of each hand. Also, teach them how to turn the water off and open the door with a paper towel in a public restroom to keep their hands clean.
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- Cough and sneeze properly! It is human nature for kids to just cough or sneeze without thinking to contain their germs. However, it is important that they learn to properly cover their mouth to avoid exposing any potential illnesses with others. Make sure you teach them to cough or sneeze into the bend of their elbow rather than their hand.
- Make sure they are prepared! It helps for your children to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer and tissues in their backpack. This allows them to clean their hands even when a sink is not available. Also, the tissue is extremely important when a runny nose occurs. Having a small travel pack is much better than your kids using their hand or shirt sleeve.
- Disinfect toys often! This is especially true your children have friends over often. Germs can collect on toys, allowing your child to continue being exposing to them even after the sick kid has left. Wipe down toys with a disinfecting wipe or soak them in bleach.
- Express the importance of not sharing foods and drinks! Because children do not understand the effects of sharing, parents must enforce a no-sharing rule when it comes to food and drinks. Toys are good to share, but drinking after a sick kid also increases your own child’s chances of getting a cold or the flu.
Parents must be proactive in keeping their family cold and flu free, especially during the winter season. Practicing the above suggestions will help your children learn how to stay away from germs so they can remain healthy.