Whether you’re a mom or a nanny, staying healthy during the cold and flu season is imperative! With hectic lives, and children who depend on us to provide for their never-ending needs, we don’t have time to fight illness, and we certainly can’t take a day off! Our best bet as we progress through the season of sickness is to take good care of ourselves and the children, and implement preventative steps to keep the germs at bay.
Prevention is definitely the best “medicine” – before the flu season kicks in, consider getting the flu vaccine. Although people complain that they came down with the flu even though they got the vaccine, getting the vaccine drastically reduced the length of time they spent suffering and the severity of the symptoms, compared to people who didn’t get the vaccine.
Here is what you need to do to keep the germs at bay:
- Wash, wash, wash the hands! Make sure that you and the children are constantly washing your hands and try to keep the hands from touching the nose, eyes and mouth. Contrary to popular belief, the hands carry more germs than any other part of the body. If you (or the children) cough, sneeze, or blow your noses, be sure to wash those germy hands with an antibacterial soap and water.
- No sharing! Although we work hard to teach children to share, the last thing we want to do is share sickness! So, stop sharing drinks and lollipops and anything else that can help pass germs around. When summer comes, we can get back to sharing with each other.
- Sleep and reduce stress – The lack of sleep and increase in stress during the winter months can run the body down and open the doors of opportunity for sickness. Be sure to get the proper amount of sleep and eliminate as much stress from your life as possible.
- Stock up on tissues! Keep a box of tissues, preferably one in each room, and teach the children how to use them properly, too. Also teach children to throw them into the trash bin immediately after using them.
- Multivitamins! A multi-vitamin will help to fill in the gaps for picky eaters, but even the healthiest eaters still lack a sufficient amount of specific vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. While Vitamin A is vital for the immune system, Vitamin E can work like an antioxidant. The truth is: all vitamins and minerals that are found in multivitamins are essential, in some way, for the body. Here, supplements work good (Biotin, etc). Be very careful when administering chewy vitamins that seem like gummy candies to children! An overdose of vitamins – like iron – can be extremely detrimental for your little ones!
You’re also going to want to make sure you’re eating right, drinking lot of fluids, and exercising regularly during the winter months to keep your body running at ultimate performance and fend off any sickness. The healthier you and the children are, the happier the children (and you) will be!