4 Ways to Keep Kids Healthy
‘Tis the season for runny noses and harsh coughs—just visit any classroom and you’ll see what we mean. While you can’t put your child in a plastic bubble the moment cold weather hits, there are a few things you can do to keep your child as healthy as possible this winter season.
Use DIY Hand Sanitizer
While we love the convenience of hand sanitizers, most commercial brands contain at least 60% alcohol as well as other chemicals. According to Inhabitots, natural ingredients such as rosemary, tea tree oil and lemon have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties while aloe vera helps those oils blend in water and hydrates skin. Click here for a great DIY recipe and put the mixture in small bottles with spray lids before tossing in backpacks and lunchboxes.
Keep Hands Away from Eyes and Mouth
Even if your child is the master at keeping his or her hands washed (see our DIY hand sanitizer recipe above), you can go one step further in your quest for a healthier winter by telling your child to not touch his or her eyes or mouth during the school day. Your eyes and mouth are two of the main ways a virus gets into your system.
This may be the one time of year when you encourage your child to NOT share with others—especially water bottles and food. According to Mayo Clinic, a good rule of thumb for your child is simply, “If you put it in your mouth, keep it to yourself.”
Get Enough Sleep
Good sleep is important throughout the school year, but during cold and flu season sufficient sleep is one of your best defenses against illness. “Students should go to bed the same time each night and should brush their teeth just before bed,” suggests Dr. Julie Miaczynski in an article for the Daily Herald. Elementary through high school students should get an average of 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night.
If your child does become sick, please keep him or her home from school. School nurses who participated in the KidsHealth in the Classroom survey said the biggest health problem at school is colds and flu—revealing that parents who send sick kids to school are helping to create an unhealthy environment for everyone.
Talk to us: What is your best line of defense against colds and flu?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Loren Kerns