10 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Follow these expert tips to keep your family as healthy as possible.

Autumn is here with its crisp air and beautiful fall foliage. Unfortunately, fall also marks the beginning of cold and flu season. There are plenty of things you can do to keep your kids as healthy as possible this season. Here are 10 tips to protect your kids from the much-dreaded fall and winter illnesses.

1. Wash hands frequently.

Your child is exposed to bacteria and viruses daily at daycare, school and at home. Whether it’s through a favorite shared preschool toy, a bathroom faucet or a doorknob, exposure to viruses can happen quickly. The best defense is simply using soap and warm water to disinfect hands after playing outside, before meals and snacks, after bathroom visits, and after petting animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 10-15 seconds of hand scrubbing during each hand wash.

2. Use hand sanitizer.

When warm water and soap are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be another effective defense to keep hands germ free. But parents should use caution, especially with young children, as hand sanitizer can be dangerous if consumed. Keep out of reach of children.

3. Get a flu shot.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get an annual flu shot. Be sure to follow your pediatrician’s recommendation.

4. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow.

Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue. If a tissue isn’t available, use your elbow. Kids shouldn’t cough or sneeze into their hands as this only spreads germs more easily.

5. Teach young kids how to blow their noses.

Encourage little ones to avoid putting their fingers in their noses and teach them to use a tissue as soon as they are old enough. Throw away tissues immediately after each use.

6. Drink more water.

Staying hydrated can help your body fight viruses. “Water is especially important when a child has a fever,” says Dr. Laura Sinai, a pediatrician with Signature Pediatrics. “Fever causes our bodies to lose water due to sweating and evaporation and also increases the body’s need for water due to increased metabolism. Plenty of water also helps to keep mucous thin, making it easier to cough up or blow from the nose.”

7. Eat a healthy diet.

Kids might not like fruits and vegetables, but they can help fight illness. “Making sure your child is getting the proper nutrients and vitamins can help boost the immune system,” says Dr. Holly Smith, a pediatrician with Signature Pediatrics.

8. Get a good night’s sleep.

Studies show that poor sleepers became sick more often. Make sure you child gets the recommended hours of sleep each night.

9. Disinfect your house.

No one enjoys scrubbing countertops and toilets, but doing so can reduce the number of germs in your house. Be sure you are disinfecting toys and household surfaces, especially kitchens and bathrooms.

10. Avoid people who are sick.

This seems obvious, but it might be necessary to “quarantine” household members who become sick to avoid spreading the illness to others in the house, especially young children. Also, make sure your child stays home from school if he or she is sick.

“A healthy diet, regular physical activity, and following the tips above can help reduce your child’s chances of getting sick during the cold and flu season,” says Dr. Smith. “Remember, if your child does get sick, give them plenty of time to rest and recover.”

Signature Pediatrics is the premier concierge pediatric practice in the Carolinas.

Why Concierge Pediatrics?

Concierge pediatrics is a better approach to health care because the focus is on the patient. Our goal is to allow you to meet with your pediatrician in a pleasant, relaxed and unhurried environment. This provides plenty of time to ask all of your questions and discuss your child’s specific needs. We want you to feel like family so we treat you like family.

With Signature Pediatrics, you will always be able to bring in a sick child to be seen on the same day and can schedule most other appointments on the same day or within 24 hours. Wait times have been greatly reduced or eliminated and you will experience little or no time in the waiting room. Even more importantly, once you’re with the doctor, there’s no rush. We will take the time to truly understand your child’s unique needs and offer the most thorough care and follow-up possible.

Please contact us today and learn how Signature Pediatrics can mean the difference between your child living and living well. 

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