The holiday season is a magical time of giving, practicing family traditions, and that special visit from Santa Claus. It’s also the season for coughs and sniffles. I’m knowing this part of the season all too well at the moment. During the past week and a half, every member of my family has had a dreadful cold. Some of us worse than others. It’s inevitable that something catches up with us, considering all the germs my grandchildren are exposed to at school every day. I especially worry about the kids staying healthy, even more than myself. They move at such a fast pace in school, so it’s hard to get caught up after missing just a day or two. It also happens to be cheerleading competition season for my granddaughters, with the first competition this weekend. I’ll be doing everything I can to help the kids combat cold and flu season. Hopefully the nasty cold we’ve had this past week will be the last.
After spending many years as a healthcare professional, and talking to our family doctor I’ve determined that our best course of action in battling cold and flu season is to boost our immune systems by getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and taking vitamins and supplements.
How to Boost Your Child’s Immune System to Combat Cold and Flu Season
Become a Germ Buster
Keeping your house germ-free won’t actually improve your children’s immune system, but it can help reduce the risk of spreading and contracting illnesses. Wash your hands and wash them some more. Hand washing is the number one way to bust germs. Set a good example for our children by washing your own hands often. Also, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse and toss one into your child’s school backpack. Also, if your child does become ill, toss their toothbrush right away. Germs love hiding in toothbrushes.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s always important to eat a healthy diet, but this is a good time of the year to be extra diligent about eating more fruits and vegetables. Drinking lots of fluids is also important. Try tossing an extra piece of fruit into your child’s lunchbox.
Sleep, Sleep, and more Sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial for a strong immune system. If your child is overtired they are more likely to get sick. Doctors recommend that children ages 1 to 3 get 12 – 14 hours of sleep per day, ages 3 – 6 get 10 – 12 hours, ages 7 to 12 get 10 – 11 hours, and kids ages 12 to 18 should be getting 8 – 9 hours of sleep per day.
It’s easy to stay indoors and become dormant during the winter months, but now is the time to stay active. If the weather does not permit outdoor exercise, pop in an exercise DVD to do as a family or play games which require the kids move around.
Teach your child to cover her mouth when she coughs or sneezes, preferably with the inside of the elbow to keep germs away from the hands.
Be sure that your child is getting plenty of Vitamin C and taking a good multivitamin made for kids.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Church & Dwight via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Church & Dwight.