Monday, August 18, 2014

Keeping Your Little Ones Safe From The Flu

I've dealt with my far share of  days parenting and taking care of a sick child. In Connor's short 21 months, he has spent quite a bit of time fighting one illness or another. I've often wondered what it will be like when he heads off to school and has to battle with the common cold and the worst of all illnesses, the flu. With a new school year right around the corner and germs preparing to invade every healthy little one, I want to share with you how to prevent the flu from taking over and torturing your family. Today's post is brought to you by a guest writer, Rachel Phalain

With flu season right around the corner, it’s hard to imagine your little one coming down with the flu. Being out of commission for a few weeks is awful, especially for a child. Not to mention there is also a huge risk of them infecting everyone in the house which would just make everyone miserable. Thankfully, there are some preventative measures that you can take in order to keep your child safe and healthy this flu season. Because the winter is all about building snowmen and drinking cocoa, not spending days in bed feeling crummy.
Clean Hands, Clean Bill of Health
Teaching your child to wash their hands properly is one of best ways to keep them healthy throughout the year. You can’t always supervise your child to make sure that their hands are at their cleanest, and more often than not they won’t be. But you can still instill good, healthy habits in your children by rewarding them for doing a good job. Some suggest having a board that they get to put stickers on each time they wash their hands but any kind of a treat will do.
Besides simply teaching your child the importance of hand washing, it’s also important to teach them how to do it properly. They need to use warm water and clean their hands with soap for about 20 seconds. Teach them to sing a song like “Happy Birthday” or “Row Your Boat” while they are washing in order to gauge the time.
Avoid Exposure
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your child comes home from school or daycare and says that there are other children that are sick then it might be best for your child to stay home for a day or two. Since missing one or two days is much more desirable than missing one to two weeks.
Lead By Example
As a parent, you’re the role model for your child, so if they see you lacking in your hand hygiene then, more often than not, they will start to do the same. This doesn’t just go for hand washing either, you should also be showing your child the correct way to cover their cough or sneeze. The correct way to do that is to sneeze or cough into a place that doesn’t come into contact with other surfaces. Places like the crook of your elbow or shirt are both perfect examples of a polite and healthy way to sneeze or cough.
Early Detection and Prevention
As is the case with most illnesses, the faster you can notice that you or your child have been infected, the faster you can start on the road to recovery. If your little one comes home feverish or with a case of the sniffles then those are both very good signs that they should take a few days to rest and recover. Make sure they get plenty of sleep and vitamin C. This is one of the best ways to lessen cold and flu symptoms or even prevent them entirely.

Rachel Pharlain is a proud graduate from Boise State University and is currently living in Boise, Idaho with her pug named Pugsley. She is an avid reader and writer and when her nose isn't buried in a book she loves to run and cook healthy and creative meals. You can connect with Rachel via her Google+ profile.  
  

20 comments:

  1. I don't have kids but these are great tips! I am going to share it with my roommate who works with kids!

    xoxo
    Brooke

    inaworldofbees.com

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    1. I think as an adult, you could use these tips, too, don't you think?

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  2. Always great to keep these things in mind, especially with cooler weather around the corner. Great guest writer!

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    1. That's why I thought this was a perfect post to share this time of year.

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  3. Great tips! We've been lucky and my daughter has not gotten the flu (knock on wood).

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    1. Us too but you never know! Do you get the flu shot? We do and so far, it's been a huge factor in us staying healthy.

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  4. Great tips! I feel like Henry's going to get sick about a bijillon times this year because he's now in a center!

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  5. Excellent tips! I hope to be an excellent mom like you when I have the pleasure of having little ones :)

    http://neatly-packaged.com/

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  6. Definitely some practical advice that I will keep in mind for the future!

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  7. Good article and great tips! I always dread this time of year coming up but am bound and determined to kick the nasties in the crotch this year. Here's hoping!!

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    1. You said crotch!
      And I'm with you. I can't handle the idea of Connor getting the flu. Puke... not my thing.

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  8. That's all solid advice. Its SO important to wash your hands properly. I've learned that most people don't wash their hands at all-- I know just from being around them.

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    1. I wash my hands so much and sometimes, rewash if I think I need to. You can never be too clean.

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  9. This is so important! Great tips for keeping your whole family healthy ( because it starts with keeping kids healthy!).

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    1. Amen sister! I've never been so sick as I have been since becoming a Mom.

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  10. Yes I am very much after my son cleaning his hands regularly and right from the beginning made a habit out of cleaning them always after toilet and before sitting down to eat/drink.

    Alex - Funky Jungle

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    1. Connor loves washing his so it makes it easier to get rid of those nasty germs!

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Thank you so much for commenting on today's post. I reply to comments via Disqus so if you are curious as to what I may have to say in response to your message, just visit this post and check your comment. -- xo, Stephanie