With winter fast approaching the numbers of adults and children getting sick from cold and flu we will start to rise. A lot of this is due to people remaining indoors for long periods of time with the heating turned up, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to try and protect yourself and your children from winter bugs. Here are some tips that you can use to try and keep your children healthy this winter.

Vaccines

Usually, in the build-up to winter, many countries offer a vaccine service for the seasonal flu. While there is some difference of opinion as to whether the vaccine actually works or not it is something to consider if you want to minimize the risk of catching the flu. However, if you’re going to go down this route, you might want to consider vaccinations for everyone in the family so that it doesn’t spread. If you’re unsure whether the vaccine is good for your family or not you can always consult your doctor who can give you all the information.

Healthy Eating 

Healthy eating is important at any time, but it’s especially valuable in the winter time. There are many ways you can get fruit and vegetables into your child’s diet even if they aren’t particularly keen on them. Soups, in particular, are a great way to get vegetables, beans, and pulses into the diet, and the good thing is you can use seasonal vegetables instead of paying extra for those out of season. It is also important to ensure that they get enough fruit, you can do this by making smoothies with their favorite fruit, or you can use fruit juice that you can make yourself or buy in the store. Some fruits and herbs, in particular, are especially good for the immune system such as pomegranate, thyme, orange, garlic, and ginger. If your children like these already, then this is a bonus if they don’t then you can easily put a little of it into their food they already eat.

Keep up the Exercise

In summer when the weather is warm encouraging your children to exercise can be a lot easier than when the temperature starts to drop in winter. However, even in winter time exercise is important not only to keep them healthy but also to boost their immune system. For example, playing out in the snow is not only good fun, but it also gives them the exercise they need. If the weather is particularly bad outside, there are many fun activities you can do in your own home, or you could consider taking them to an indoor play area. If your kids enjoy helping out around the house, you can also use this as a good source of exercise as well.

Reduce Stress

Although there is a lot in the media about how stress affects adults the same also applies to children. If your kids are under too much stress especially in the winter time, this can have a negative effect on the immune system and the ability to fight off colds. This means trying to understand what tasks they need to do especially at school and doing your best to minimize any stress they may be feeling. The same techniques to deal with stress that adults use will also work on children such as breathing techniques, mindfulness, and allowing them to blow off steam by playing and doing things love doing.

Getting Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is hugely important to children, not only does it help them to grow it also allows their brain to process things they have learned during the day. The other benefit of sleep is it allows them to repair their bodies fight off infections and keep their immune system in top condition. Children will often need more sleep than adults, so it’s important that they go to bed before you do, and that they are comfortable. If you find that your children are having problems getting to sleep at night, there are many guides online you can use to help you.

Teaching Hygiene

Building your child’s immune system is important. There are times when you need to ensure that they are practicing basic hygiene as well. That doesn’t mean you need to keep them clean and away from any dirt or to stop them playing. It simply means you need to reiterate the importance of washing their hands after they’ve been to the toilet. By teaching them to also use handkerchiefs which they can throw away or wash the end of the day you also ensure they don’t pass on any germs to other people.

Dealing with Problems

As well as ensuring that your children healthy you also need to make sure that they are treated if they have any problems with their health. Things such as a cough can become worse in the winter, so it’s important you get these ailments checked by a doctor. Similarly, you also need to ensure that their teeth are healthy and that any damage is repaired. You can read more about the effects of tooth decay on the human body online. It is important to note however that doctors will not give antibiotics for colds or flu and unless there is an underlying infection.

Children’s Medication

If the worst thing does occur and they’ve become sick, then it’s important you have medication such as painkillers, decongestants, and tissues handy. The last thing you want to be doing is going down to the store late at night because your child is sick, and you don’t have any painkillers for their fever. It is also a good time to ensure you have enough medication for things like asthma which can become worse during winter months.

Although bugs can be an inevitable part winter, there are ways you can minimize the effect and help to boost your children’s immune systems against them. By following these simple steps, you and your children can enjoy a happy and healthy winter.