As we head into the blisteringly cold winter months, we’re reminded that cold and Flu season is well underway. The winter chill brings freezing temperatures, snowy conditions, and coughs and sniffles. Many respiratory viruses, like RSV, Influenza, and COVID-19, peak in activity during these months. As a parent, you want to do everything possible to stop your kids from getting sick this season and focusing on preventative care is paramount. Below, our experts share several tips to keep your little ones healthy during cold and flu season.
Stay on top of routine vaccines.
Immunizations protect children against many severe illnesses and reduce the risk of serious outcomes. If your child does get sick, their symptoms are likely less extreme, and they’ll get better quicker if vaccinated. To minimize the spread of these illnesses, you can also schedule a pediatric telehealth appointment for your child to learn proper quarantine and return-to-school/activity rules. See a board-certified clinician from the comfort of your home and avoid spreading infectious germs to others.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
A lack of quality sleep can stress a child’s body and negatively affect a child’s immune system and stress level. With a weakened immune system, your child is more susceptible to germs. School-aged children should get about nine to twelve hours of quality sleep a night.
Practice regular handwashing.
One of the best ways to stop the spread of germs is to encourage good hand hygiene. Your children should wash their hands after they come home from school or daycare, after using the bathroom, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing. To ensure germs and bacteria are effectively washed away, sing a song for at least 20 seconds while your child cleans their hands. Encourage hand sanitizer use when soap and water are not available.
Provide healthy meals for the whole family.
Cooking healthy meals and fueling little bodies with good-for-you snacks can boost the immune system and keep your kids healthier throughout the cold and Flu season. Try to limit junk food and sugary drinks and instead provide plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, water, and lean meat throughout the week.
Teach them school safety.
Schools and daycare centers are some of the germiest places. Therefore, it’s vital to teach your children how to stay safe while they spend time here. Instruct them to avoid touching their face, sharing their drinks or food, and putting things in their mouths. Teaching your children the correct way to sneeze and cough can also keep germs from spreading. Tell your kids to follow these steps whenever they cough or sneeze:
- Try to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
- Dispose of the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands immediately after, or use hand sanitizer.
Pediatric Care Online With Hello Pediatrics
Urgent care facilities are what parents choose for their children when appointments with their regular doctor are unavailable. But for kids, seeing an unfamiliar doctor can be a stressful ordeal, especially if they’re sick. That’s why it’s vital to consider pediatric care online. At Hello Pediatrics, our team of board-certified clinicians offers comprehensive, after-hours telehealth services to keep little bodies and minds thriving during cold and Flu season. When your pediatrician’s office is closed, know you can count on us to treat your child. Book an appointment with us today.