How to Stay Healthy When Your Kids Are Sick
Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to germs.
This time of year, it seems like kids bring home every cold, virus, and stomach bug that’s floating around. When your little one isn’t feeling well, you have to juggle taking care of them and dodging all of their germs. This one can be tricky because research shows that children from age 1 to 3 years typically have six to nine illnesses per year, and kids ages 4 to 10 years, on average, have four to six illnesses per year.
While you can’t always avoid getting sick, there are a few things that can minimize your chances of sharing germs when your kids aren’t feeling well.
- Break Out the Soap: One of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid getting sick is to kick the handwashing into high gear. Make sure to lather up and scrub for at least twenty seconds. Everyone in your house, including the little one who is sick, should be washing their hands often. If you’re out and about, hand sanitizer is a must-have.
- Bye Bye Hand Towels: If everyone is washing their hands more, skip the regular hand towels for a few days and use paper towels that can be tossed after each handwashing. Since germs can live on fabric, this small step can help you miss out on adding germs back to your hands after all that handwashing.
- No Sharing: To avoid sharing germs, make sure you aren’t sharing cups, food, or utensils with your kids. This one can be hard if you have kids that think your water bottle is a community cup. So when you’re eating or drinking, keep your cups and utensils up and away and clear out your child’s dishes as soon as they are done eating.
- Laundry Day Everyday: From towels, sheets, and pajamas, make sure that you’re washing all of the laundry in hot water to kill off bacteria and germs. Even if your regular washing routine includes cold water, when someone is sick, crank up the hot water in the laundry.
- Wipe It All Down: Break out the disinfectant and clean the surfaces that are frequently touched. Door handles and faucets and flushers in the bathroom are among the most germ filled.
- Set Up a Cozy Spot: Older kids might enjoy some extra screen time in their room and you’ll be able to contain the germs when you have a mini-quaratine in your home. For younger kids, set them up on one spot and try to keep other family members away while there is a contagious kiddo in your house.
- Make the Kitchen Off Limits: To avoid spreading germs on all of the kitchen surfaces where you’ll make food, bring the snacks and drinks to your child and make the kitchen off limits to them.
- Take Care of You: If you’re up late taking care of your patient and you feel like reaching for an extra cup of coffee, grab water instead. To help fight off germs, you’ll want to be sure to drink plenty of fluids, don't skimp on the fruits and veggies, and even though it might be hard, make sure you get plenty of sleep and sneak in a nap if your child is napping.
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