The sick season is here! If you haven't received a call from your pre-school or day care about a sick toddler, you will soon. Short of keeping them in a plastic bubble all winter long, there's not much we can do to keep the cold and flu germs at bay. (We know, after the fifth call, that bubble starts to look pretty darn appealing.)
But there are ways to help boost your children's immunity, and ways to treat the ickies once they've come to roost in your home. Even for those of us who don't love "baby" cough syrup (is that even safe?), and draw the line at antibiotics unless there is an emergency, there are gentler, more natural ways to help our littlest sick patient.
Always the first, and best, defense against cold and flu germs, teaching your child to wash his hands when he walks in the door, after switching play areas, after the bathroom, before meals and any other time he touches something that is high use is the most effective strategy for cold and flu prevention. Once you have a sick tot, everyone else in the family must up their hand-washing so you can stop this from being "that horrible month when we all of us were snot machines."
All-Natural Cold Medicines
There are companies out there in tune with moms who have a natural bent. Zarbee's has a cold syrup that's made of honey, vitamin C and natural flavors to make your kiddo not gag it up. Sambucus for kids is an immune boosting elixir that contains elderberry and echinacea, to give your child some extra armor before walking into that germ-laden ball pit.
If you think your child won't tolerate needles, don't worry. Acupuncturists only use tiny "touch" needles and acupressure to treat the smallest zen masters. While acupuncture may seem to be fringe-y, there are studies that show it works in pain management and I've felt it open my sinuses when no sprays, decongestants or hot showers could do the trick.
Eat, Sleep, Move
By making sure your little one gets her vitamin C alongside a balanced diet filled with vitamins and minerals, you're giving her a healthy head start every single day. Additionally, people who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick (assuming they're washing hands post-activity!). And if all else fails, take to your bed. Your child needs rest when they're down and out, so make sure they get plenty of it, and you should too to prepare for the next round.
What's your best natural cold or flu remedy?
Image via futureatlas.com/Flickr