Every year, flu season arrives and parents do their best to protect their children (and themselves) from getting sick. This can be a difficult task for young ones, as their immune system has not yet developed as much as an adult’s. Getting through cold and flu season can be easy thanks to a few tips our team at TLC Schools has put together. Stay healthy this cold and flu season and keep your little one happy!
While many adults skip a flu vaccine, a yearly flu vaccine can help your child resist getting the cold. A flu vaccine is not 100% guaranteed to prevent the flu, because the flu virus is constantly changing. However, immunologists are very good at predicting the seasonal strain and thus can strengthen your immune system to that particular virus. For children at least six months old, a flu shot can reduce the chances of them getting sick by up to 60%!
Regardless if you decide to get a flu shot or not, practicing good hygiene can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick. The flu virus loves to live on surfaces, and washing your hands for at least 20 seconds can remove the virus from your skin. For little children especially, who tend to put their fingers in their mouth, clean hands can go a long way in preventing illness.
Sleep is the Best Medicine
Your immune system relies on good, healthy sleep. For both parents and children, getting enough sleep goes a long way in keeping your immune system functioning properly. Adults should aim to get 8 hours of sleep a day, and young children need even more than that. The other important thing to remember is that a consistent bedtime also helps the immune system. If you shift bedtime by just a few hours, your natural circadian rhythm can go out of whack, causing your body to not function as properly as it should.
Nutrition is Key
The fuel we put in our bodies help determine how it functions. Heavily processed foods, foods containing a lot of sugar, and other unhealthy food choices can weaken our immune system, while healthy foods like fruits and vegetables go a long way in bolstering our bodies’ natural defenses. To help keep your child sick from flu and cold, feed them healthy snacks and meals.
A child is more likely to get sick from flu and cold season than an adult, but with these tips, you can improve the odds of your child staying happy and healthy through the cold season months.