The cold weather of the winter months can hit our immune systems hard. However, your child can be struck down by a cold at any time of the year, so here’s a few tips to help beat the bugs and reduce the risk.
Hundreds of germs live on your hands, some are harmless but unfortunately some are not. To minimise the spread of coughs, colds and sickness bugs, everyone in the family needs to wash their hands regularly, and especially after using the toilet, before cooking and eating, after stroking pets and after touching rubbish bins or taking part in messy play.
Make sure you use warm running water and soap. Rub your hands together until the soapy lather appears. Then take time to rub each palm over the back of the other hand, rub between the fingers on each hand, rub around each of your thumbs and rub your hands with the fingers together.
Next, rinse and dry your hands with a clean towel or hand dryer. An alcohol-based hand gel is a good alternative to soap and water when you’re out and about.
Head over to Health for Kids to explore good hand washing practice with your child.
Stop coughs and sneezes in their tracks
Use tissues rather than your hands to muffle coughs and sneezes, then throw the tissue away quickly. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth after sneezing too as germs easily spread this way.
Make sure that telephones, keyboards, toys and kitchen surfaces are regularly cleaned, ideally with antibacterial or disinfectant wipes – germs can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours.
Above all, check your diet includes a good balance of fruit and vegetables, find ways to stay active and ensure you get plenty of sleep.