Keep them healthy: How to keep you and your kids healthy this season Posted on December 05, 2016 by , 0 comments

Dealing with the complications and logistics of the season can be a bit of a challenge for everyone. For starters, school began in the fall with a fresh new set of immune challenges that each student in a classroom (and consequently, their family members) will share. Immune systems might be a little lower, after having had the summer ‘off’ from such intense and varied exposure. And while one child may have already experienced one exposure, and developed and immunity to it, another child in your home may not yet have had that experience. But just because your kids will be exposed to a whole new set of people and situations doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to project their health and yours. 

Hand washing

Yep. All the time. And you do NOT need antibacterial soap for this. Any regular soap can wash away bacteria and viruses just as easily. Your kids should be washing their hands as soon as they come home from school, the store, the park – you get the idea. Basically as soon as they enter the home they need to wash their hands. Remind them to wash their hands before lunch at school too.

Hand sanitizers—everywhere

Be it a pump or a spray, put hand sanitizers in areas for kids to be able to use when hand washing isn’t an option. Keep one in the car, another in their backpack for school, and yet another in the bathroom just in case they can’t or don’t want to use soap and water. Using hand sanitizer should also be something that becomes routine for you as well, especially when you finish up shopping, visiting the bank, or going to the gym.

The catcher

Teach your kids to cough and sneeze into their elbow, not their hand. Make it a game and call it their ‘catcher.’ Perhaps award prizes for who can make the most “catches”!

No sharing of foods

Most schools and daycares discourage kids from sharing their food these days. You will also want to make this standard practice in your home. That includes sharing water cups or bottles.

Avoid touching and kissing their face

This is kind of a personal choice, but some parents prefer to have more distant family members simply kiss their children on the heads instead of the face. If you, or anyone else in your family, is immunocompromized, this should be common practice.

Avoid the sickies

And finally, be picky about where you and your kids go. If your friend is hosting a play date but says her child is sick, feel confident in declining the invitation. If you see a sick kid at the gym day care, just go home. You can’t (and don’t) want to raise them in a bubble, but you can edit your life and advocate for their health and yours.

How do you handle kids and immune health challenges in the fall? Tell us in the comments below!