Fall is here and as the temperature changes, so do the chances of your little ones getting the sniffles.
On average, kids under age the age of three catch at least six to eight colds a year. "We think that since most children are encountering viruses for the first time, their immune systems aren't able to kill them as quickly as when they encounter them again," says Carol J. Baker, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston. What's more, because kids aren't overly concerned about having a runny nose, the virus tends to end up on their hands, clothing, and toys--where it can live for 30 minutes. When another child touches an infected toy and then rubs her nose or eyes, she can catch the cold.
It’s hard to stay away completely from germs but here are seven habits you can practice with your little one to help prevent the sniffles.
1) Wash their hands, and yours too Mom and Dad.
2) Keep them active. Exercise boosts the immune system and don’t let the cooler weather prevent you from doing activities outside.
3) Make sure the kids are getting enough sleep.
4) Teach your kids to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth.
5) Visit your doctor and make sure you’re up to date on vaccinations.
6) Feed them healthy, colourful meals. Maintaining a good diet is key for overall health.
7) Teach your kids how to keep other people free from illness as well. So, when your children are sick, coughing in the crook of their elbow, using tissues, and washing their hands are each practices they should use while at school or daycare.
Myth or truth? These stubborn myths about colds just aren't true, courtesy of Parents Magazine.
Myth: Antibiotics will help your child get over a cold.
Fact: Since colds are caused by viruses, they aren't treatable with antibiotics, which kill only bacteria.
Myth: Green snot means your child has a sinus infection.
Fact: Colds typically go through a phase when the nasal secretions are yellowish or greenish.
Myth: Starve a cold.
Fact: It's important for your child to eat to keep her body strong and help her fight the infection. Don't worry, though, if she doesn't have much of an appetite for a day or two. Just make sure she keeps drinking. "If she has a fever and a runny nose, it's easy for her to get dehydrated," Dr. Baker says.
Myth: Don't let him cough.
Fact: Coughing is actually a protective mechanism that clears mucus from your child's respiratory tract. Avoid giving him a cough suppressant unless it's specifically recommended by your doctor.
While we love these tips and truths, don't forget that love, hugs and cuddles will always help bring your little one back to good spirits!
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