10 Ways to Keep Your Kid Healthy That You Haven't Thought of Yet


sneezingThere are so many wonderful things about this festive time of year. There are special foods, time with family, parties, and events galore. It's all fun and games ... until someone gets sick. And boy do kids get sick this time of year.

From sniffles and sneezes to the flu and other not-so-fun ailments, the season of sick is also upon us. Sometimes it feels like between now and spring, it's just one big long string of illness passed from one child to the next and back again ... and again.

But there are some things you can do to help break the sick cycle and actually keep your kids healthy. They're not foolproof, of course, but they certainly up your odds for a merrier and healthier season. Here are 10 tips to keep your kids healthy that you may not have considered:

1. Use paper towels in the bathroom. Instead of sharing one hand towel where germs can be passed, use disposal, one-use paper towels.

2. Serve up the good foods. The vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables can play a major role in boosting your child's immune system.

3. Yogurt is more than just yummy. Some studies have found that eating 3/4 cup of yogurt a day can reduce one's chance of getting a cold by 25 percent.

4. Make exercise a priority. Keeping their bodies in tip-top shape will boost immunity and help them be in fighting form when it comes to germs.

5. For younger kids -- don't let pacifiers be a problem. Because they're put directly in their mouth, it's important to frequently wash pacifiers ... or try to get your baby to ditch them altogether. For older kids -- encourage/remind them to keep their fingers, pencils, etc. out of their mouth.

6. Make sure they drink plenty of water. According to WebMD, water can flush out the body's toxins. To determine if your kid is getting enough, check their urine. It should be close to clear. Dark yellow means they need more hydration.

7. Keep hand sanitizer in your car. Right after you strap on your seat belts, give everyone a squirt. No matter where you have been -- the school, the park, the library, or the grocery store -- there are germs lurking.

8. When one person in the family gets sick, go into prevention mode to try and protect the rest of you. Wipe down the surfaces of counters, doorknobs, toilets, and other often-touched areas with a disinfectant frequently. Germs can live for hours if you don't kill them.

9. Make sleep a priority. Sure, there's lots to do, but a lack of sleep can make one more susceptible to illness.

10. Encourage frequent hand-washing. Okay, you've probably thought of this one before, but a reminder never hurts.

What do you do to keep your kids healthy?

Image via welivefast/Flickr

kid health, kids nutrition, kid sleep


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Reall... Really232

How are these things we haven't thought of yet?  

Senia... Seniahmom

These are the basics (except maybe the paper towel thing in the bathroom) not things people haven't thought of already.

CLG122 CLG122

Most of these ideas do nothing to actually encourage a strong immune system.  A paper towels in the bathroom?  Really?!  What a wasteful culture we are... 

princ... princessputter

I have done paper towels in the bathroom for several.. years.. its a great tip...

dresd... dresdenfan118

I like this article.  I follow almost every one of these precautions, right down to eating yogurt frequently.  I don't do paper towels in the bathroom at home, but I do sanitize our towels regularly.   

As a person who deals with sick children (and their parents) Monday - Friday, I am often amazed at what parents don't know.  Many people don't understand how contagious illnesses are transmitted.  Many people truly do not understand how important it is to stay hydrated or to have good nutrition.

Have you seen how many Moms leave the restroom in a public place without washing their hands, or the hands of their children?  Yuck!  I'm not a germaphobe, but I try to avoid touching doorknobs and handles in public places, especially during cold and flu season, for the hand washing reason alone.

I'm glad the other people who posted comments seem to know everything.  I know for a fact that many parents aren't that informed.   

ceciliam ceciliam

Most people don't know about the benefits of yogurt, for a healthy immune system. Most of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping everything baalnced and healthy is key to a strong immune system. However, it should be a plain probiotic yogurt that isn't loaded with sugar.

Lots of good tips but I agree that most of these aren't new ideas that have not been thought of.

elasmimi elasmimi

We don't use paper towels, but we do each have our own hand towel, and I change them daily. I wish I could say I do the rest of these tips, but she does not drink enough water, even though we have a water cooler in the kitchen. I do think it is almost inevitable that kids will catch more colds their first few years of school.

Jilly... Jillysmom

I drive a school bus and have to always tell the kids to not only cover their mouths but stop putting everything from their pencils to their packback straps in them.

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