There’s something about the winter season that creeps up on you when you least expect it. Like the sudden chill in the air or the festive decorations hanging out of your child’s nose. Winter has a way of getting the best of your little one’s health, but with careful measures, you can make sure that you keep those awful germs at bay as the mercury slides lower.
The Truth Behind Winter Illnesses
The reality is, there’s no surefire way to shield your child from the clutch of illnesses that circulate during the winter season. Viral fevers, colds, coughs and viruses are common occurrences during the colder months, and since most of them are airborne, there’s very little you can do to keep them out of your home. Your child can catch an airborne virus if he breathes in the same air as an infected friend. And more often than not, you wouldn’t even know where the virus has come from, because children can still be carriers without displaying symptoms.
Despite how persistent winter viruses can be, you can still take measures to optimise your child’s immunity. Here are some ways you can give germs a tough time this winter.
A daily activity routine is a great way to thrust your child’s immunity. Why? Well, regular exercise can prevent an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. Obesity is known to lead to a weak immune system, and it’s wise to take measures to keep it from setting in.
Encourage Regular Hand Cleansing
Hand hygiene can go a long way in ridding your child of acquired viruses. Implement a hand washing routine after important jobs like a visit to the toilet, a session at the park or a day at preschool. A good hand scrub is important before beginning any meal, a habit you should encourage your child to continue even at times when you’re not around to supervise. Lead by example, and you have half the battle won. Also, tuck a scented child-safe sanitiser into your bag when you’re on the move so that you can keep your tot’s hands clean on the go.
Discourage Hand-to-Face Contact
A germ-ridden hand can transmit viruses faster than light to your child’s body. A little hand that comes into contact with an eye or nose can deposit germs onto the mucous membranes, so it’s important to have your child avoid hand-to-face contact. Teach your little tyke the value of use-and-throw tissues, so that an already acquired virus can be contained. Of course, be prepared for a steep learning curve for you and your little one. After all, little lessons in hygiene can take years to master.
Keep Up With Immunisations
Are you up to date with your child’s immunisations? If not, perhaps it’s time to take stock. Every immunisation builds an additional layer of health around your child.
Encourage Healthy Eating
At this age, you have free reign over what foods go on your toddler’s plate. Instil a love for healthy eating in your child by picking a range of immunity-boosting foods. Citrus fruits, coconut oil, ginger, garlic, green leafy vegetables and yogurt are some baby-friendly options you can choose from. Soups, homemade fruit yogurts and peeled fruit segments are quick and easy meal choices. By equipping your child to recognise nutritious foods at this age, you can hone a healthy lifestyle right from the outset.
Instil a Coughing Etiquette
Teach your child how to catch sneezes and coughs with a handkerchief. This will help prevent the infection from spreading and also protect your child from acquiring other infections in the vicinity.
Make the most of the winter season by celebrating the year gone by and ringing in the yuletide spirit. As for the germs? Leave them on your doorstep with none for company, and have yourself a happy and healthy new year!
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