Teaching your child good sick weather health habits

Cold and flu season has parents everywhere dreading the day their child gets sick. For most of us, it’s not a matter of if, but when your little one brings home germs from school or daycare. But what if you really could avoid some of the sickness and germs that are threatening your kids? Teaching your children some basic sick weather health habits might mean the difference between being sick all winter and staying well. Try these tips:

Wash your hands

One of the best things you can do to avoid every sickness that passes through your child’s schoolroom is to teach them how to properly wash their hands. One easy way to do this is to teach the “Happy Birthday” method. Essentially, teach them to soap their hands and sing the Happy Birthday song twice while they scrub their hands (including the backs of their hands). You should also include a lesson on when to wash hands. For example, your child should be washing their hands anytime before they eat, after blowing their nose or using the restroom, and even after taking out the garbage.

Avoid sick people

Although it’s not always possible, and it might not even seem polite, avoiding individuals who are sick is a good way to avoid getting sick yourself. Teach your kids to keep good personal space around anyone who’s obviously sick.

Get a flu shot

Getting the flu shot isn’t necessarily a habit you can teach your child. But making flu shots a priority for your family can mean the difference between being down with the flu or not.

Cough etiquette

Does your child know how to cough when they’re sick? Teach your child to cough into a bent elbow or a tissue they’ll throw away later. Remind your child that coughing into their hands can spread germs to their family and friends.

Don't touch your face

Your mouth and eyes are common ways germs can enter into your body. Since most of us touch our face at least a few times an hour, it makes it easy for germs to find their way into your system. Instead, teach your child not to touch their face as much as possible. It’ll cut down on the number of germs affecting your child’s body.

Treat your body well every day

The easiest way to avoid sickness is actually to take care of your body when you’re not sick. Teach your child what it means to eat well and exercise regularly, even in the winter. By learning to care for their body when they aren’t sick, you child will be stronger and healthier when they do get sick.

Teaching your child good sick weather habits may not keep your home free from all sicknesses this coming cold and flu season. But it can reduce the time you spend wiping your child’s sniffles — and these habits will serve your child well their entire life.