Winter is coming. Which means so is cold and cough season for your kids.
The start of school plus the onslaught of cold temperatures means it’s no so much a matter of if your kids will get sick, but when. But just because winter coughs and colds seem inevitable doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to prevent them, and then treat them effectively once they arrive.
5. Make Sure They Wash Their Hands
Tell your kids to wash their hands. And then, when they either forget or choose to ignore you, physically walk them in to the bathroom and force them to do it like the mean task master you are. Because honestly, it’s that important. Cold and flu are caused by viruses, and they are not airborne (meaning you can’t get sick just from being in the same room with someone with a cold). It has to be from direct contact. So every time you blow your nose and get some on you or cough into your hand and then have contact with people, you’re spreading the problem. That’s why washing your hands is so vital to stop the spread. Also, teach kids to sneeze into the crook of their elbows instead of their hands.
4. Make Sure They Get Lots of Rest
For reasons researchers still fully don’t understand, getting lots of sleep wards off sickness. Studies have shown a lack of ample sleep leads to decreased immunity, including fewer white blood cells (which help our bodies fight against infection) and antibodies (which fight against germs). Generally speaking, toddlers need between 11 and 13 hours of a sleep a night, while young, schoolchildren require approximately 10-11 hours a night. If you have a tween, shoot for 9-10 hours with teenagers needing 8-9 hours a day.
3. Make Sure They Sing
You’re probably thinking “Huh? Is this guy crazy?” The answer could still be yes, but it has nothing to do with this advice. Japanese researchers tested blood and saliva from a test group before and after they engaged in copious amounts of singing. They found after the singing was finished, the level of stress-related hormones dropped while immunoglobulin A — which helps battle viruses and bacteria — rose. The good news is your kids will have a stronger immune system, but the bad news is you’re going to have to listen to “Let It Go” a few more times. The things we do for our kids, right?
2. KEEP SICK KIDS HOME!!!
I get this one is tough because a lot of us rely on day care and school while we’re at work. But when kids get sick and go to school with dozens of other children who might not have read this article and don’t practice these tips, the likelihood of spreading viruses increases exponentially. So if your child does get sick, think quarantine. Lay low and stay in the house for a few days while you treat it, and don’t contribute to the germ/bacteria/virus farm that is daycare and school. Trust me, you don’t want it to come out that your kid is Patient Zero because then you’re THOSE parents. And no one wants to be those parents.
1. Use Little Remedies
If the cough and cold plague does descend upon your offspring, you’ll want to know the best way to treat it. For my money, I go with Little Remedies Cough & Immune Support. My wife and I are big on medicines that are as natural as possible, and this fits the bill. This product contains elderberry and honey to soothe sore throats and reduce coughing, and contains zero alcohol, saccharin, or high-fructose corn syrup. Any kids older than 12 months can have it, and my kids don’t mind the taste and benefit greatly. We use Little Remedies every time we can and we’re never disappointed.
***Disclaimer: I was compensated by Little Remedies for this post. However, I used their products way before they ever approached me and I stand by their effectiveness and endorse them 100%. Check out their website and Facebook page.