When the mercury drops, bundling up and staying warm may seem like the easiest things to do, but the teeny tiny nightmares that we call germs take a new lease on life at the very same time. And their first targets are children. Winter-long coughing, sniffles, and fever make up a very unpleasant combination for the younger members of the family. It’s time to get a head start, and ward them off once and for all this season!
It cannot be stressed enough how important hand washing is. Not only after using the washroom, or before eating, but also after coming home from outside. As an extra precaution, you can always add in a hand sanitiser for cases where there is no water.
SNEEZING AND COUGHING
It is one thing to not catch a sickness, but it’s a whole different story to not spread it. Make sure that kids always use a handkerchief, or tissue when sneezing or coughing. Also, a different but good practice is to sneeze or cough into their elbow. This limits the spread of germs to other people in their vicinity.
FOOD AND SLEEP
During winter, it is essential to load up on healthy servings of green leafy vegetables, carrots, beans, oranges, and apples. At the same time, limit sugar intake, as research suggests that high amounts of sugar can supress the immune system. Also, make sure to clean the school lunch boxes thoroughly.
Do not underestimate the necessity of a good night’s sleep for children. Most of the metabolic reactions take place in the body while sleeping. Not getting this sleep makes the body more susceptible to a germ attack, followed by illness.
THE NO-SHARE LIST
Utensils, toothbrushes, towels — put these on the no-share list to limit the spread of germs this season. Assign separate units for each of your children, as well as for yourself. Also ensure that your child is not sharing water bottles in school or outside of home.
CLEANING AROUND THE HOME
Doorknobs, handles, and light switches — these are the most touched areas in the household. Make sure to clean these with disinfectants. You can also assign your children for this particular clean-up as a weekly chore. At the same time, establish a practice of changing clothes right after coming home from outside. By separating indoor and outdoor clothes, you can stop germs from spreading.
— LS Desk
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed