Keeping Your Child in Good Health

Winter is the time of year when viruses and germs especially run rampant. You don't want your children bringing home any bugs from school, daycare or church, since when one gets it they all fall like dominoes. Here are a few tips to help get you through the season.

First, teach children to wash their hands a lot. Yes, we all hear this frequently. But the importance of it cannot be overestimated. Antibacterial soaps aren't always necessary, but normal soap, warm water and vigorous scrubbing are if you want to get a handle on germs.


Antibacterial rubs like Purel help fight germs too, especially in the classroom! Kleenex brand tissues have also introduced an antibacterial tissue. It would be a great idea to pick up a couple of each and give one set to your child for school and keep the other at home.

Also, keep a can of antibacterial spray handy. If your child gets sick, spray the door knobs, door handles, all the things you saw their little hands touch. If they vomit, clean and spray that area well, too. Also, be sure to wash any soiled clothing or linens in hot water to kill the germs.

Teach your children proper manners regarding sneezing and coughing in public. The old rule was simply to cover your mouth and nose. The new rule says to cough or sneeze into your sleeve or shoulder - just don't go hugging someone after you do that. Hand washing afterward wouldn't hurt, either.

And while we're talking about virus prevention, don't forget the value of good nutrition. Getting enough vitamins C and E and maintaining a balanced diet go far in fighting bugs. If you use herbal remedies, talk to your doctor to make sure the herb and dosage is safe for your child.

And remember that really sick children should never be around other children. If your child has vomited or has a temperature, keep him or her home until 24 hours after the fever is gone and vomiting stops. If your child also has green or greenish-yellow mucus, a stay at home until it's clear is necessary. Call your school, church or doctor if you have concerns about when to keep your child home.

Hope the remainder of your winter is healthy and germ-free!

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