Changes in weather and seasons serve as good reminders to teach your child how to practice healthy habits to prevent illness. After all, we want you and your family to be able to enjoy your time together without feeling under the weather!
The easiest way to teach your little ones how to protect themselves from the cold and flu is simply practicing good hygiene habits early and often. Learn how to keep your family happy and healthy throughout the year, whether it’s at home, school, or when you’re out and about.
Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu at Home
As a family, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits, especially during cold and flu season.
Encourage Good Hand Washing Habits
Teach your children to wash their hands after playing outside, using the bathroom, before eating, etc. Practicing hand washing regularly at home will encourage them to do it when they aren’t with you. Remind them that hand washing is a great way to prevent them from getting sick, which means more time for play and fun!
The easiest way to ensure your children wash their hands adequately is to practice washing to the tune of “ABCs” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” These songs should take about 20 seconds to sing through twice, which is an adequate amount of time for hand washing. Your little ones might even want to make up their own song to sing! Make it fun!
Let them choose an antibacterial soap based on a scent they like or the design on the bottle. This may help catch their attention when it’s time for hand washing. Make sure to have a step stool handy near your sink to make handwashing easy, and eventually an independent skill.
Keep Tissues Handy
Try to keep tissues on hand as much as possible to prevent germs from spreading. Keep them stocked at home, and always make sure you have plenty packed for family outings. If it helps, let your little ones pick out tissues with a fun design on the package! It’s also a good idea to keep Vaseline on hand for sore noses.
Looking after your children’s runny nose will help prevent germs from spreading on toys that they may be putting in their mouths. Don’t forget to look after yourself, too! Wash your hands after wiping your children’s noses.
Share Toys Rather Than Germs
It’s great that your children love to share with their siblings and friends, but make sure they’re only sharing toys and spreading kindness. Don’t share cups, plates, and utensils at home, especially during cold and flu season. If you practice this at home, children will be more inclined to practice this at school too.
If your children are sharing and playing with toys together, do your best to prevent germs from spreading. If toys go in their mouths, put them in the sink to be cleaned before going back in the toy bin.
Be a Good Role Model
Remember, children learn from watching you! Always practice healthy hygiene habits and make it a family affair to do so. Children are more likely to model your good behavior than respond to requests to adopt healthy habits.
Other healthy habits to practice as a family include eating nutritious meals and getting plenty of rest. Encourage healthy eating and sleep habits to keep everyone’s immune system in great shape!
Preventative Measures U-GRO Asks You to Take
We are partners in your children’s education, and we are partners in keeping them healthy too! We want to ensure our children, teachers, and staff are protected from illness entering our classrooms, and we need the help of our families to make that possible!
- When entering your children’s center, wash or sanitize your hands using the hand sanitizers in the center lobby or in your child’s classroom sink.
- At drop off, help them wash their hands when they enter the classroom.
- Make sure your children (and you!) have received their flu shots for the year, per the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations.
Should you have further questions, please reach out to your children’s center director for a copy of U-GRO’s illness policy.
Don’t wait for illness to start practicing healthy habits. Instead, get the whole family involved, and do your best to make it fun. Practicing these habits early and often will ensure they continue to do them automatically, no matter where they are.
Stay connected to the U-GRO blog for more information on how to keep your children happy and healthy!