This post is sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Cold and flu season is upon us and the Coronavirus pandemic continues to surge. Typically, the peak of it happens during the coldest of winter months December-January, right around the holidays. As a nurse and mom, I’m sharing some things you can do to keep your kids and your family healthy.
How to keep your kids healthy during cold and flu season
- Get your flu shot! And any other vaccines your children may need. With the pandemic, us parents are stretched thin. Working from home, homeschooling, maybe you’re caring for elderly parents and with that, many kids have fallen behind on their preventative care and vaccinations. Or you may be afraid to take your kids to the doctors out of fear that may contact COVID-19. I know I myself have been trying to limit their exposure everywhere I can. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that keeping up with your child’s immunization schedule and preventative care is one of the easiest ways you can keep them healthy. Trust your pediatrician’s office to have safety measures and precautions in place to help prevent the spread of any viruses or disease. I encourage you to call your pediatrician to make sure your children are up to date or caught up on all of their routine immunizations. For more information visit https://bit.ly/HealthyChildrenAAP.
- Remind your kids to practice frequent handwashing, cover their mouth when sneezing/coughing and avoid touching their face. Germs are spread by touching surfaces that are contaminated and then touching your face, or coughing/sneezing and then touching another object. Instill in your children washing their hands after going to the bathroom and before meals. Have them wash with soap and water for 20 seconds. Make it fun and choose their favorite song and have them sing it while they wash their hands.
- Maintain a healthy diet and move your body often – This may sound simple and like something you already know but during the holiday season I think this gets forgotten. Eat your fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and take your vitamins. Teach your children to fill their plate with a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables as they contain the healthiest nutrients for your immune system. And if they fill up on healthy foods, they’re less likely to binge on the unhealthy stuff like sweets and treats. Make it a point to exercise for 20 minutes a day, whether it be walking, biking, dancing or just playing outside. Exercise has been shown to keep inflammation at bay and promotes circulation of the blood, including white blood cells which are your body’s defense against germs and disease.
- Stay well rested – The holidays are a busy time of year with getting together with friends and family, and no one wants to miss out. I know I get FOMO. But if you’re feeling under the weather, stay home. If you feel tired, listen to your body and rest. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night to keep your resistance up and help you fight off any infection.
- Limit stress – I know, easier said than done, especially during a pandemic. But research shows that stress and constant release of the hormone Cortisol weakens your immune system. Make it a point to take care of your mental health. Find one thing that you enjoy and do it for yourself each day whether it be having a cup of coffee in peace while everyone else sleeps or partaking in your favorite hobby.