By Daddy Nickell
Tis the season for the dreaded cold and flu; be prepared to take control this year by following these easy tips that can help protect and prevent your kids from getting sick. With seven children of my own I know the flu, or even a cold, can wreak havoc on a child’s immune system, and then tear through the rest of the household ultimately shutting down a family for weeks on end. As parents we are usually willing to do whatever it takes to keep our loved ones safe and healthy.
I’ve compiled my top three tips for protecting kids from catching the cold and flu. I hope they’ll work for you, too!
Cleanliness: This is the single most important thing to do: Wash your hands as often as possible, with soap and hot water. If you do not have soap and hot water available keep a tube of hand sanitizer in your Daddy Diaper Pack, glove box, or briefcase. As well require your children to wash their hands a bunch. If anyone comes to visit your house, ask them to wash their hands immediately – prior to interacting with your children. Germs are easily spread, and they are much more prevalent and dangerous than you may think. If your kids are older teach them to keep their hands away from eyes, mouths, and faces in order to lessen the chance of spreading germs. Additionally it’s very important to keep household surfaces clean by washing them regularly with a disinfectant spray. We clean park toys, airplane seats, bathroom door handles, etc. If you really want to protect, it is like anything involving parenting, you have to work at it.
Be Healthy: All parents want to keep their children healthy and during cold and flu season it’s more important than ever to eat well, drink fluids, get plenty of rest and to exercise, too! In our house we rely on the crockpot during the winter months; crockpot meals are easy to prepare, easy to clean up and you can make them very nutritious with plenty of vegetables. So warm your bellies with a hearty meal and head to bed early!
Quarantine: Okay, so you don’t really need to quarantine your healthy child, but what I do suggest is to refrain from sharing food and drink and to stay away from other children who are sick. In fact, during cold and flu season it might be best to limit play dates and take advantage of family time. I also suggest thoroughly washing toys that are handled often and by multiple children as well as anything your child takes back and forth between school and home. I have no trouble, and I am not embarrassed, asking a parent with a sniffling or coughing child if they’re sick. It can occasionally be teething or allergies but just by asking you are reminding everyone we are in flu season and it’s important to be smart. Better safe than sorry, right?
Do your best to take all of these protective measures and hopefully you keep your child and family sickness free this cold and flu season. Good luck!
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 6, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gear for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.