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5 Steps for Keeping Your Kids Healthy This Winter

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Kids and Winter are a great combination. Whether it’s waiting for that first snow to run out and play, or the thought of Christmas being just around the corner, kids seem to love this time of year. For parents, it can bring on an extra helping of worry, trying to keep your child free from colds and flu.

1. Fighting Illness

A great way to keep your child in their best health each Winter season, is to have them immunized with the most current influenza vaccine. These shots are given at most local pharmacies, usually free of charge.

There are usually higher chances of catching an illness in the Winter, so having your child take something as a preventative action can only help.

If you become aware your child has been around other sick kids or adults, it can’t hurt to give them some Vitamin C to keep an infection from progressing.

2. Keeping Clean Hands

Kids can be very adventurous, and accomplish touching 100 different things in a day. Keeping clean hands through good hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid catching illness, and prevent spreading it to others. Many diseases and germs are spread by not efficiently washing your hands with soap. Your child should wash their hands before eating, after using the restroom, playing with different children, and after blowing their nose.

Washing hands thoroughly with soap is the best preventative, to avoiding the spreading of germs and illness. The next best alternative to washing your hands is using a hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol level. Today these sanitizers are in many public places and even in schools. It’s never too early to teach your child the important steps of keeping their hands clean.

3. Getting Enough Sleep

Kids are constantly growing, and their bodies are far from being fully developed. They can always use a few extra hours of sleep, not for rest, but for body and brain building. During the Winter and cold season, we want their immune systems to be as strong as possible. One way to ensure this is to make certain they are getting sufficient sleep at night.

4. Proper Nutrition

Your child’s nutrition is important to their overall health. It helps them physically grow to their full potential. Making sure that your child eats properly is a great way to help prevent illness this Winter season. One of the most important things you can do is set a good example with the things you eat. We know that kids usually want to eat the things that aren’t the best for them, but the more emphasis we can put on this subject the better. Eating healthy will help to ensure your child’s blood sugar levels stay closer to normal. This will help prevent the risk of them developing diabetes also.  You can find great healthy new ideas for meals in current seasonal cookbooks.

5. Dress in Layers

The number of layers in which you dress them will vary according to where you live – this is an important step in keeping the colds away. Some places are at a record cold this year. You should add one more layers to your children than you would wear yourself. Kids are smaller and have less body heat than grown ups. A good idea is to start with long underwear, then a shirt and appropriate coat. A waterproof top layer is always best. Remember to keep your child’s ears covered as well. Lastly, when keeping their neck warm, a scarf can be a strangulation hazard so it’s better to use a neck gaiter instead.