Howdy Smart Moms!
I love this time of year. The nights are cool and the mornings are crisp. Fall mornings are becoming my favorite times to run. Plus, I love the scarves, coats, and boots. Not just for me, either. I just fawn over how adorable my littles look in their fall gear.
But as great as fall is, I was also reminded of it’s drawbacks this weekend, when I woke up with a scratchy, dry throat. And as unpleasant as that is to wake up to, I would 100 times take it over the fluids that I can’t stop from running out of my eyes and nose! I know, it’s gross. But that’s reality. So here I sit with my laptop, a box of tissues, and all the GermEx. Not to mention all the Advil I’ve taken for my headache.
My husband is a saint and is out with the kids while I’m barricaded in my room, quarantined. We are both trying anything and everything to avoid passing this on to the kids. Because I know as soon as my son catches it, he will go to school and spread it to all his classmates. And then we’ll have a pandemic on our hands. So best to stay in isolation until it passes.
At this time of year especially, kids who are attending grade school are at great risk of becoming bed-ridden, even without a sickly mother to initiate it.
Children play together in and outside of class. Touching hands, sitting in close proximity, sneezing and coughing on each other. Most are typically still learning basic hygienic habits. While many of you may be thinking that you have already taught your child the basics, the fact remains that they are still kids. And let’s be frank, the tiny humans are germ factories. So it’s worth it to teach more specific disease prevention measures.
Here are some tips for keeping junior (and the rest of the classroom,) a little healthier:
- Washing hands – This is hands down, the most effective method of preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria. Pun intended. While many kids wash their hands, most don’t wash them effectively enough to make an impact on their health. Quick rinsing with soap isn’t enough. And we all know that’s a favorite when we tell our kids to march back into the bathroom and flush and wash. So teach your kids the best times to wash, are before a meal and after playing outdoors. Show them how to wash with warm water, AND SOAP, and keep their nails trimmed. Have them sing the ABC’s or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so they know how long to wash for.
- Avoiding sick kids – Of course a sneeze sometimes is just a sneeze. But if children around them are not covering their coughing fits, you can teach junior to cover up their own nose or mouth when they find themselves around that.
- Avoiding hot spots – Crowded places are generally where diseases spread. During flu season, stay in for movie night rather than going out to the theater. Spend less time at the mall and other public places where people come together in such large numbers and close proximity. School is already enough of a breeding ground for contagions. Teach your child about how they can avoid touching doors and drinking fountains by using their sleeve as a cover. It can even pay to send your child off with a water bottle to avoid the fountain, a place where many children place their hands.
- Exercise – Encouraging your child to exercise will help them maintain a healthy immune system. Even just moderate exercise will keep them robust and full of vitality when other less active kids catch the flu or other yucky sicknesses. Even after having fallen ill, an active kid will be able to better handle the sickness and recover faster. Remember that your child must also properly hydrate and eat according to their physical activity if they are to benefit from it. We all know that exercise without the proper nutrition and diet isn’t very effective!
- Seeking proper medical attention when necessary – Keep in mind that some conditions are unavoidable, such as common head lice. Many children will get this rather harmless but annoying condition. Encourage your child to seek help at the school medical care center upon noticing anything out of the ordinary. Likewise, as a parent, be sure you are taking your kid to the doctor as necessary and providing them with the proper medical care. If you child exhibits prolonged symptoms, or symptoms of more serious illnesses, like the flu, or strep throat, be sure to get help immediately.