My now ‘big-kid’, Dylan is starting Junior Kindergarten this September. I cant believe how fast time flies. He was a newborn five seconds ago. Anyway, I have to get over the shock. He is fiercely independent and ridiculously excited to start school. He talks about it daily. I am not worried about him making friends, liking his teacher or succeeding academically. He will blow me away in all those areas (proud mommy!). What I most worry about is what he will be exposed to daily – those pesky germs that will prevent him from going to the place he loves. Viral season is about to start! Unfortunately, when children are in close contact with one another they are bound to infect each other with the ‘virus-de-jour’.
What I most worry about is what he will be exposed to daily – those pesky germs that will prevent him from going to the place he loves
Here are some suggestions to help your child stay healthy and virus-free this fall:
- Consider vaccinations to fend off potentially dangerous illnesses like chicken pox, influenza and measles
- Teach your child to avoid touching his/her face, eyes and nose – this is how viruses and bacterial infections get started
- Teach your child to wash his or her hands often. For sure after using the toilet, after recess and before eating. Every time.
- Avoid sharing cups, food and utensils with friends at school.
- Sneezing into the elbow (versus the palm of the hand) is a great strategy to prevent spread of viruses
When your child gets that inevitable virus:
- At the first signs of illness encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, get extra rest and decongest using a humidifier, saline spray and suction (if your child tolerates it).
- Home remedy for cough: honey can aid in cold recovery in children over the age of one year. On a spoon, in warm water, milk or tea, honey has great, natural antiviral and antibacterial properties to help fight infection. Read more about cough and cold medicine for kids.
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help alleviate fever, aches and pains associated with routine illnesses. Check this out for more on how to reduce a fever.
- For viral conjunctivitis (i.e. ‘pink eye’), use warm compresses to sooth the eye and wash away discharge. This is very contagious so keep hands especially clean and not near the face.
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