Posted on: 2 October 2015
Germs spread quickly in a child care situation, and if your child is in daycare or preschool and being exposed to those germs, you may be concerned about this affecting your household. Below are three tips on lessening the number and impact of germs that your child comes into contact with and how you can keep your family happy and healthy all season long.
Consider a Smaller Daycare Setting
While avoiding germs isn't the best reason to switch from a larger child care setting to a smaller one, it can be helpful, especially if your child or someone else in your family is immunocompromised.
Where there are people, there are germs. A smaller child care setting means your child will come into contact with fewer people, and therefore will be exposed to fewer germs. Smaller child care centers may also have stricter sick policies in place than larger ones, as one illness can spread through the setting like wildfire. This may mean that the smaller center is more careful about allowing ill children to attend and may be more strict about enforcing their policies – this can significantly reduce the number of ill children your child will come into contact with and ensure a healthier child care setting.
Boost the Immune System
There are a number of relatively easy ways you can boost your family's immune system leading up to the winter season.
First, it's important to start before cold and flu season begins. The immune system needs some time to strengthen, so immune strengthening methods may not work immediately. Daily multivitamins should be part of your child's routine year round, but some other immune boosting techniques include enforcing an earlier bedtime (a tired immune system cannot fight as well as a rested one), family exercise, and avoiding triggers such as secondhand smoke. While these things may not seem to do much on their own, together they can make a huge difference for your child and your family.
Teach and Model Healthy Hygiene Habits
While a small daycare setting and boosting of the immune system can be helpful in preventing illness, the best way to fight germs is to practice proper hygiene and model these behaviors for your children.
Modeling healthy hygiene habits, such as washing hands as soon as entering the house and keeping hands away from the face, can be much more effective than teaching and lecturing. Children will practice what they see, not what they hear. It's recommended that you wash your hands for 20 seconds, so to make this habits more fun, come up with a silly song that lasts long enough for a proper handwashing, or use a well liked one that's already in circulation. You can also use an egg timer that your child sets for 20 seconds each time they wash their hands which will give them a better idea of how long they should be washing for.
To learn more about keeping your family healthy this cold and flu season, talk with your family doctor about immune boosting methods, vaccines, and other techniques.Share