My children started school the second week of August, and everyone in my house has been sick since the third week of August. It's one thing after another, and it doesn't seem like there's an end in sight. We go through this every year when school starts, even when I take precautions to keep everyone healthy. You can't fully prevent colds in children, but there are certainly things you can do to reduce the occurrence.
- Lots of hand washing- We have a rule in our house--you walk in the front door and you go wash your hands. It doesn't matter where we are coming from, but if you walk through the front door, you go straight to the bathroom to wash your hands before you do anything else, especially after coming home from school.
- Don't touch anything!- Don't touch your face. Don't stick toys in your mouth. Don't stick your fingers in your mouth or nose. This goes for all the time, but especially when one child is sick. When we have a sick child, that cold can quickly spread, resulting in an entire house full of miserable people. When one child is sick, that child is given a few toys to play with while they are sick and are taught not to touch anything. Don't touch the remotes, the other kids' toys or anything else someone is going to use if you can help it. It also goes for the healthy children. Don't touch anything the sick child has touched. Yes, I know it isn't fully possible for them not to touch everything, it certainly makes it easier to disinfect what you know they have touched.
- Stopping the spread- When I was a kid, we were taught to cover our sneezes and coughs with our hands. Well, now you're taught to sneeze and cough into your elbow. I don't care what body part you use as long as it's covered and washed when you're done coughing/sneezing.
- Don't send your kids to school sick- I get so irritated with people who send their children to school sick. If you didn't send your child to school sick, mine wouldn't have gotten sick. Don't send your child to school if they have a fever, are shooting snot everywhere, are throwing up, have diarrhea or just look miserable. Think of how miserable your child will be stuck at school sick all day, not to mention the other 10 children and teacher who become sick because you sent you child to school.
- Probiotics- Research shows probiotics may give the immune system a boost and decrease how often you become sick. It's not conclusive, but probiotics are healthy for your child anyway so give it a shot.
- Healthy diet- Keep your children healthy even when they aren't sick. A healthy body is much less likely to to become ill and stay ill for a long time. Always have your child eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids.
What do you do to prevent you children from becoming sick?