As we begin into the cold and flu season, your kids are bound to get sick sometimes. After all, they do spend their days playing with other kids at school, crawling on a dirty playground, sharing toys or food, and grabbing at everything that attracts their attention. Being a mom makes you twice as likely to get sick. How do you stay healthy this season when you’re continuously caring for sick kids? Parents magazine shares the following tips.
- Wash your hands! Frequent hand washing will cut down getting sick by 30-50%. For an extra clean, use hand sanitizer after washing your hands with soap and water.
- Keep them out of the kitchen. When your child is sick, try to have them play other places than at the kichen table or with pots and pans. This will keep germs away from counter tops an tables for them to spread to the rest of the family. Wash these places with a disinfectant regularly.
- Wash the laundry with hot water. Hot water combined with chlorine bleach will kill more germs. Studies show that people who wash clothes in hot water miss fewer days of work and their children have fewer sick days from school,” says Harley A. Rotbart, MD, author of Germ Proof Your Kids. Also try to avoid touching your nose and mouth when handling germy clothing and wash your hands after starting a load.
- Try to cut down on the cuddles. You won’t like it, but it will help you keep from getting sick. Try to keep a little distance between you and your child. Perhaps use hand signals or saying I love you to comfort your child. If you do need to give him a kiss, do so on the forehead or top of the head rather than cheek or mouth. Also, encourage him to cover his mouth when he coughs or sneezes.
- Encourage your sick child to not share with other kids when they are sick. This includes toys, food, and personal items.
- Disinfect everything! When purchasing disinectant, look for a cleanser with an EPA registration number and the word disinfectant on the label. That means the product contains the big guns of germ fighting, like ammonia or bleach, and has met the government’s standards for effectiveness. Disinfect things such as tables and counter tops, door handles, toilet handles, remotes, and phones.
- Put off washing your child’s toys when he is healthy again. That way you will only have to wash them once to kill the germs.
- Be aware of the three biggest places to get germs: Grocery cart handles, playgrounds, and your kitchen sink. Be sure to wash your hands upon returning home and wash your kitchen sink at least twice a week to help avoid getting sick.