Whilst it is never possible to completely prevent your child from getting sick during the winter months, there are a number of things that you can do that will certainly help to prevent it. Most winter viruses are considered to be airborne, and so any close contact with somebody that is already sick could be enough to make your child sick this winter. There are a number of steps that you can take to help your child fight against illness this winter, keeping them as healthy as can be.
Preventing Child Sickness
It is almost certain that the majority of children will at least suffer from a slight cold this winter, but there are a number of things that you can do to help them in the best way possible:
Encourage your child not to touch their face
When a child touches their face, they could potentially be directing germs on their hands through the eyes or nose to their mucous membranes. To ensure that germs do not get absorbed into the bloodstream of your child, you could teach them to use a tissue or their sleeve when making contact with their face. It is also important that they use a tissue when sneezing or coughing, catching any germs and keeping themselves clean.
Keep your child’s hands clean
Washing their hands on a regular basis is a very effective way of reducing colds and the flu. By ensuring that your child regularly washes their hands with soap at the right times, such as after the toilet, before and after eating and even as soon as they return home, they will be preventing sickness. Any teachers or child minders should also be informed of this technique so that they can ensure it is followed through by your child.
Natural boosts to your child’s immune system
By giving your child natural foods and encouraging them to eat healthily, they will be getting the nutrients that they need, boosting their immune system. Along with healthy eating, a good amount of sleep is also the key to boosting the immune system, so plenty of sleep is also needed to prevent sickness in your child this winter.
What You should do if your Child Becomes Ill
It is inevitable that your child will attract a cold this winter, despite all of your efforts to prevent it from happening. Therefore, it is very important to know what to do when they do become ill, so that you can make them feel better and actually help them to become better as soon as possible.
Ensuring that your child washes their hands and blows their nose is important at all stages of the process. By keeping clean, not only is the spreading of germs minimised, but the ill feeling and any additional mucous produced by your child can also be reduced.
Ensure that your child gets some rest
Although it is typically a tough task to get your child to stay still, getting some rest really is exactly what they need. The more rest and sleep that your child gets, the sooner they will begin to feel better. If sleep and lying in bed becomes too difficult, they can also sit quietly on the sofa or at the table with a colouring book, a puzzle or just simply watching a film.
Give your child the right things to eat and drink
When a child is sick, they lose a significant amount of bodily fluids, particularly if they have a fever or diarrhoea. If this is the case, water, milk or juice can help to replenish their fluid levels. If they are not open to the idea of drinking a high amount of fluid, you could give them juicy fruits or ice pops to eat.
Despite there being no evidence that vitamin C can be used to prevent colds, there is proof that it can help to reduce the severity of the symptoms, helping to shorten the length of your child’s cold. Children should have no more than 500mg of vitamin C a day.
Make use of a humidifier
A humidifier can really help your child at night or during naps due to the moist air from the humidifier helping to thin your child’s mucous secretions, which will calm their cough and relieve congestion. By using a humidifier, their breathing can become easier which will help to make them feel much more comfortable and allowing them to get some rest.
Take good care of your child
When your child is ill, it is important to know exactly when to call the doctor, especially as some cases can lead to problems that require more complex treatment. If your child has ear or face pain, trouble breathing, a sore throat and fever combination, symptoms of dehydration or an extremely high body temperature, you should consider calling the doctor.
One thing that will certainly help your child to feel better is to take extra care and go the extra mile for them. By ensuring that they have everything that they need and taking the time to snuggle up together, you will be making your child feel much better.
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