As the winter months continue, it is important to remember to keep our children as safe as possible when it comes to the cold and/or flu viruses. Below are helpful tips for everyone during this flu season to help protect ourselves and those we care about.
Steps to Avoiding the Cold & Flu
1. Washing Their Hands
Teaching little ones to make hand washing a habit is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help them avoid the flu. Because parents aren’t in the classroom to remind their children to wash their hands, practicing this skill at home is extremely beneficial.
Rinsing our hands with merely water isn’t enough, which is why teaching little ones to use the right technique is equally as important as remembering to wash their hands all together.
- Wet your hands with warm or cold water.
- Turn off the water.
- Get some soap.
- Rub your hands together, creating lather. Spread it between your fingers and on the backs of your hands, too.
- Do this for at least 20 seconds, then rinse off the soap.
- Use a clean towel to dry your hands.
*Singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the alphabet once is a great way to time their hand washing!
2. Coughing and Sneezing Properly
Germs are everywhere, especially at daycares and in schools. Teach your child to cough and sneeze into the inside of their elbow or into a tissue rather than their hands. This helps reduce spreading germs and potential cold/flu viruses. Not only is this a further preventative measure, it’s also a learning moment your little one can share with their friends at school!
3. When NOT to Share
The act of sharing is one of the first lessons many children learn when they’re very young. It teaches them to be compassionate and polite. The Winter time is an exception. During flu season it is important to let kids know that sharing cups and utensils can get themselves and/or their friends sick. Emphasizing the fact that germs are icky and can be spread by sharing such materials is another simple way of avoiding the cold/flu altogether.
4. Sleeping and Healthy Eating
Our bodies work best when they’re well rested and fed. Maintaining a healthy diet and sleep schedule builds children’s immune systems and further helps them avoid the cold/flu. Emphasizing the importance of sleep and practicing healthy sleeping/eating habits protects little ones from getting sick and benefits their health in the long run.
- 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies per day
- 8 or more hours of sleep per night