As winter arrives, you may be dreading the colds, flu, and general icky-ness, that seems to accompany it. Here are six tips to help you and your children stay healthy this winter.
Wash Your Hands
The CDC estimates that children with proper hygiene miss 2.42 days of school each year, while children who do not practice proper hygiene miss 3.02 days a year. Teach your children to wash their hands well, and often. This includes before and after meals, after coughing or sneezing, after using the restroom, and when they come home from school. You can also use alcohol-based wipes or gels when a water source is not readily available.
Make sure you and your children are dressed appropriately for the colder weather. Jackets, gloves, and hats are all important clothing pieces to protect against the elements and keep your body in tip top shape.
Make sure your children get well-balanced meals. Give your family the vitamins and minerals they need, so their bodies have the energy to stay healthy.
Sleep is one of the most important things we can do to give our body a leg up against sickness this winter. Each member of your family should get at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night, more for your younger children (10-13 hours).
As you prepare your holiday meals, wash your hands often when handling food. Keep any raw meats, poultry, and eggs away from food that is ready to eat or already prepared. Invest in a quality food thermometer to check the temperature of all of your cooked meals, make sure they are at least at the proper eating temperature. Do not use the same knives, cutting boards, or utensils to prepare raw foods and ready-to-eat foods.
If you still get sick after taking precautions, quarantine the family members. Do not allow your children to return to school until they are 24-hours free of fevers or vomiting. Wipe all surfaces with disinfectant, as well as washing clothing and bedding in hot, soapy water. Consider getting your children a flu shot this year to give you a leg up on sickness.
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