On average, young children catch around 10 colds per year.1 And classroom germs are largely to blame. With extensive time spent indoors in close proximity to others and the tendency of children to share objects, it’s no wonder that 22 million school days are lost to the common cold and 38 million to the flu nearly every single year in the U.S.2 And parents know all too well that missed school days often result in missed work days, whether you catch the bug yourself or whether you have to be on nurse duty (or both).
To help your child steer clear of illness this year, here are the top healthy habits for children.
Teach Your Children Effective Hand Washing Habits
Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent catching or spreading illness. Most kids know this, but they don’t always wash their hands correctly or long enough. Teach your children effective hand washing habits by modeling it for them at home. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and remember to lather every part, including backs of the hands, between fingers, and under nails. You can also arm your child with hand sanitizer for those times when soap isn’t within reach. There are many kid-friendly sanitizer cases that can even clip onto their backpack.
Show Proper Techniques on How to Sneeze or Cough
Coughs and sneezes are superspreaders of germs. When a person coughs, respiratory droplets of variable sizes are dispersed around them, creating a cloud of illness. While this technique won’t necessarily protect your child from getting sick, it will help slow the spread and prevent rebound infections. Teach your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and discard tissue in the trash and wash their hands. If there’s no tissue available, tell them to cough into their elbow and not their hands.
Prioritize Your Child’s Rest
Proper sleep doesn’t just keep your child from getting grouchy, it also makes them less vulnerable to getting sick. The Mayo Clinic reports that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to become ill after being exposed to a virus.3 This is because during sleep, our bodies produce protective cytokines, which help to strengthen our immune systems and fight off illness more effectively. Teach your child good sleep hygiene by employing a relaxing bedtime routine, limiting screen time before bed, and keeping all electronic devices out of the room.
Try Homeopathic Children’s Medicine for Preventative Measures
You may not want to give your child a cold/flu medicine if they’re only experiencing minor symptoms. Many OTC medications found at the drugstore contain harsh, synthetic chemicals that cause a range of side effects from drowsiness, dry mouth, upset stomach and more. And there’s no evidence that these medications prevent colds and flus.
Taking a homeopathic medication like Brillia Cold-Flu Recovery is a gentler and more effective approach to reducing symptoms and shortening the duration of illness. This is especially true when taken at the very first sign of symptoms. One of the key ingredients in Cold-Flu Recovery is an antibody called lapine interferon gamma immune globulin, which strengthens your child’s immune cells and recruits even more cells to ward off illness so your child doesn’t have to feel worse before they get better. Even more, Cold-Flu Recovery is so gentle it can be taken by children as young as one. And Brillia Health is clinically proven to shorten the duration of the illness, so they will recover faster.
medicine for a faster recovery.
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Use Your Own School Supplies When Possible
Sharing is certainly a skill you want your child to embrace, but maybe not during flu season. The more hands that touch an object, the more opportunities for that object to spread germs around to the classroom. To slow this spread, encourage your child to use his or her own school supplies (like markers, pens, glue sticks, scissors, etc.) And should they need to use a community object? Remind them to wash their hands afterward.
Leave Backpacks and Shoes at the Door
Many cultures enforce the practice of leaving shoes at the door and science backs them up.4 Removing shoes protects floors and rugs from dirt as well as invisible germs that cause illness. Another item known to carry germs around? Your child’s backpack. Try nailing hooks by the front door or designating a nearby closet as a storage space for shoes and backpacks to protect your floors and your immune system.
Break the Nail-Biting Habits Early
Nail-biting is a common nervous habit shared by kids and some adults. Not only can it lead to cuts, but it can also bring germs that cause the common cold into the body and lead to illness. To help curb your child’s habit, try cutting their nails short or rewarding your child when they don’t bite their nails to motivate them to stop.
Reinforce Healthy Eating Habits
Encouraging your child to follow a healthy diet is another thing you can do at home and school to keep their immune system strong. Eating nutritious foods provides your child with vitamins and minerals they need to keep inflammation down so the immune system can perform its job more efficiently. Aim for whole, clean foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and limit processed foods and sugar.
It goes without saying that staying up-to-date with your child’s vaccinations is one last crucial step you should take every year to keep your child healthy.
Find more resources on protecting your child and yourself from colds and flus at the Brillia(nce) Resource Center.