“Achoo!” Uh-oh. “Cough, cough.” Here we go again. Your kid is sick. Again. And that means you and your whole family are at risk. It’s a known fact that little kids are germ breeders—loveable ones, but dangerous nonetheless.
They can leave for school feeling perfectly well and come back with a fever and tummy ache. Then, they get your other kids sick and finally, you. The process seems to repeat itself every time one of your kids gets sick! Is there anyway to nip this vicious cycle in the bud?
Dr. Nicole Nourmand offers tips on how you can keep your immune system healthy this winter, and what to teach your kids so they suffer fewer illnesses long term.
1. WASH YOUR HANDS
It seems like such a simple task, but most adults admit they don’t suds up for the full 30 second hand wash after touching common public surfaces like door handles, counter tops, and phones. Keep hand sanitizer on your desk at work and throughout areas of your home so you and your family can disinfect when there isn’t time for a thorough hand washing.
2. WORKOUT DAILY
We know—it’s cold and rainy out and you have a million things to do. But, just 30 minutes a day (you can even break it up) of exercise will keep your immune system strong so you can fight off any nasty germs that come your way, or get over an illness quicker.
3. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Dr. Nourmand says adults are quick to send their sick kids to bed, but less so for themselves. If you don’t rest, you won’t be able to fight off being sick, and the longer you stay out of commission, the more stressed out you’ll be. So sleep in, take nap, or go to bed earlier—whatever it takes to stay well rested.
4. GET A FLU SHOT
Both you and your children should get a flu shot annually to cut down on the risk of getting sick. You won’t be protected until after two weeks, but this is one of the most important items on your autumn to-do list. And, if you haven’t gotten immunized, do so now. We’re only halfway through high-risk flu season.
5. THE DRACULA METHOD
Dr. Nourmand confirms the method of sneezing and coughing into the crook of your elbow can contain germs from flying into the atmosphere—or onto someone else. Since children rarely wash their hands after coughing or sneezing (unless an adult is nearby to make them do so) this can be a valuable tip to teach your children from spreading their germs.