I love the Fall — the leaves changing colors, the cooler weather, and all of the fun activities like apple and pumpkin picking. However, along with all of the good aspects of fall also comes some bad….the GERMS!
With kids back at school and the start of cold & flu season, germs are inevitable. If you are anything like me, the start of fall puts you in a constant state of worry. I have 3 year old twins that are former 27 week preemies, which resulted in my son having many medical complications. For us, a little cold can end up with an extended hospitalization so we try our best to keep the kids healthy.
Here are a few tips to keep your family healthy this season:
WASH YOUR HANDS!!!
Yes, I am sure everyone has heard it before, but I feel like you can never be reminded enough about the importance of handwashing. It is the most effective way to stop the spread of germs. Make sure you are diligent about washing your hands with soap and water so that you set a good example for your children. Teach your kids the proper way to wash their hands (see helpful chart below).
Hand sanitizer is a great alternative when you can’t get to a sink, but sanitizers do not always prevent the spread of certain viruses (i.e. stomach bugs). Washing with soap and water should always be your first choice.
COUGH/SNEEZE INTO YOUR ARM OR TISSUE
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Keeping your immune system strong will help your body fight off illness. Make sure you do the following:
- Eat healthy, balanced diets. Load up on fruits and veggies.
- Stay hydrated
- Stay active. Even if the weather is too cold to go outside this Fall and Winter, do some indoor games/exercises with the kids.
- Get plenty of sleep
This time of year, I run through Clorox wipes like crazy! Disinfecting surfaces that people touch on a regular basis can greatly decrease your risk of spreading germs. I will go through the house and disinfect counter tops, door knobs, light switches, cabinet handles, appliances, etc. It might seem like a pain to have to do this regularly, but a few minutes of disinfecting can save you from having a miserable, sick kid for days.
KEEP YOUR KIDS HOME
I understand it can be stressful to miss work or have to find babysitters in order to keep your kid(s) home from school, but please do not send them to school if they are showing any symptoms such as runny nose, cough, fever, or diarrhea. You may be putting other kids at serious risk by exposing them to germs.
FLU SHOT AND OTHER VACCINATIONS