As parents, we all know that it can sometimes be a struggle to keep the family healthy during the cold and flu season, with little ones often suffering from between 8-10 colds a year. Teaching your children about the flu and how to try and stay healthy can help limit the number of colds they do catch.
Hygiene habits are key
Teaching your child good hygiene habits for when they are sick can help stop it spreading to others. Keeping their hands clean is one of the best ways to keep them from getting sick and spreading the virus further, this can be from washing their hands or catching germs in a tissue.
Some other top tips are:
Try and make sure you children have tissues on them and teach them that it’s important to use them to cover their mouths and nose when they cough or sneeze. Once used, they should throw away and get a clean one ready to use.
If they are a little older, it’s worth explaining that we cover our mouth and nose as little drops of moisture come out when we cough or sneeze, and they contain germs. It is the germs that make us sick and this is how colds pass from person to person.
If your little one is too small to wash their hands, it’s important that you spend time washing them for them, especially when they are poorly. Even though they may be small, it is worth the time to explain that this makes the germs go away.
This is the same for older children. Even though they may be capable of washing their own hands, it’s worth explaining that this helps to kill the germs so that they and people around them don’t get sick anymore. It’s important to use plenty of soap and that they rub their hands together for quite a long time.
For older children, it’s best if they don’t touch their eyes, nose or mouth until they’ve had chance to wash their hands as germs spread this way.
It’s obviously a little more difficult for younger children as we know how much they touch their face and they aren’t always in our company. If they are, it’s wise to have wipes to hand to wipe their hands when they’ve touched something.
Did you know that some germs can live for two or more hours on hard surfaces? This can be another way in which we catch a cold, as we touch a doorknob, a toy or desk.
Whether your child is a baby, toddler or school age, if they are poorly with a cold or flu it might be worth keeping them off school as this will help to stop them spreading their illness to others.
As a mum or dad, you can help keep your house germ free by cleaning and disinfecting frequently, especially when you or your little one is sick.