Here are some simple tips
to help you and your children
during the upcoming
cold and flu season:
Wash Your Hands!
Hand washing is the single most effective way to stop the spread of germs. You should always use soap and running water. Remember to scrub for at least 20 seconds to ensure the removal of all germs. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer can be used instead.
Adequate sleep is extremely important for healthy immune function. Young children (3-5yo) need 11-12 hours per night. School age children (6-12yo) need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers need about 9 hours per night.
This is the one time you can tell your child not to share. Sharing food and drinks is a fast way for germs to spread. If possible have your child take their own water bottle to school, so they can avoid using the water fountains, which are often covered in germs.
Maintain a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet full of a variety whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will boost immune system activity and prevent illness. Water is also extremely important. Kids 6-12yo should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Teenagers should be drinking 8-10 glasses a day.
Get your vitamin D3 levels tested
Research has shown that low vitamin D status is linked to poor immune function and the inability to properly fight infections. This is a simple blood test and the treatment for low vitamin D levels is supplementation with an adequate amount determined by the doctor.
Following these 5 simple steps can certainly help in the prevention of colds and the flu. But, if you notice your child starting to come down with something there are a few things you can administer at home to prevent the progression into a more serious illness, like an ear infection or respiratory infection. The very first signs of illness can include sneezing, sniffling, runny nose, or changes in mood, behavior, sleep or appetite. Great immune support supplements include vitamin C, probiotics, zinc, and elderberry syrup.
Remember, if your child is sick, especially if they have a fever, it is best to keep them home from school. This will not only stop the spread of germs to their classmates and teachers, but it will also allow their body to rest and heal more quickly.
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