As a mom, you know that your child will inevitably catch a few bugs during the year, especially during the change in season. We can help our children avoid catching all the bugs that are floating around school by following these tips:

  1. Practice frequent hand washing. Frequent hand washing (with warm water and soap) is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay healthy. Remind your child to wash his/her hands before eating, after using the toilet, blowing their nose or playing outside.
  2. Teach your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. If they do not have a tissue, teach them to cough like a bat/vampire into their elbow and to keep their hands away from their eyes and mouth unless they have been washed.
  3. Keep personal items personal. Frequently wash toys and other objects that your child is likely to put in their mouth. Teach them not to share these items, as well as other personal items such as brushes, etc.
  4. Keep surfaces clean. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, which can easily pass from person to person but they can also be pass from surface to person. Surfaces which need to be cleaned often (and which we may not think about) are Computer keyboards, telephones, doorknobs, pens, etc.
  5. Keep warm. Granny is right – keeping warm can help you avoid coughs, colds and flu. How? Shivering depresses the immune system and this makes us more likely to catch colds. Also, lower levels of sunlight and altered levels of hormones such as melatonin and serotonin negatively affect how the immune system performs.
  6. Take vitamins and probiotics. Taking a daily multivitamin is especially important in the winter when we may be less likely to be eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables, and are also more at risk from infection.

Most importantly, take care of yourself and your family; exercise and find ways to reduce your stress as this takes a toll on your immune system.

What do you do to avoid change of season sniffles?

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