How to Keep Your Kids Healthy this Winter
Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Kids (and adults) tend to get sick more often in the winter due to a combination of factors. For one, the colder temperatures tend to weaken the immune system, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to take hold. Additionally, when it’s cold outside, people tend to spend more time indoors in close quarters, which can make it easier for illnesses to spread. Finally, the dry winter air can make it easier for germs to thrive, as it dries out the protective mucus membranes in the nose and throat, leaving them more vulnerable to infection. So, what can you do to keep your kids healthy? Here are some tips to help keep your kids healthy during the winter months:
1. Encourage hand washing: Make sure your kids wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. Proper washing includes a minimum of 20 seconds to include the tops and palms of hands, between fingers, and under fingernails.
2. Dress appropriately: Make sure your kids are dressed warmly when they go outside, with hats, gloves, and scarves to keep them warm. If they are comfortable, they are more apt to stay outside and get the mental and physical benefits of healthy fresh air and Vitamin D.
3. Stay active: Encourage your kids to stay active and get plenty of exercise, even if it’s just indoor activities like dancing or yoga. If they are playing outside (which we highly recommend), choose activities that keep them moving to stay warm. Games like tag and hide and seek are great options.
4. Get enough sleep: Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep to help keep their immune systems strong. The right amount of sleep depends on their age. Check out here for sleep recommendations broken down by age.
5. Eat a healthy diet: Make sure your kids are eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to help boost their immune system. The holidays are full of sweets, and the word for the holidays is moderation. Make sure they eat a good dinner with a balance of vegetables, protein, and grains before going for dessert. Better yet, make fruit dessert or the first course of dessert.
6. Stay hydrated: Make sure your kids are drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, to help keep them hydrated and healthy. The amount of water kids should drink can vary depending on factors such as age, activity level, and climate. However, as a general guideline, children should drink 8 ounces of water for every year of life. For example, a seven-year-old should have 7 eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Kids (and adults) should drink more water when they are active to compensate for fluid loss through exercise.
7. Avoid sick people: Try to avoid contact with sick people as much as possible, especially during cold and flu season.
Remember, a healthy lifestyle is the best defense against winter illnesses. If you have concerns about your child’s health, please give us a call or schedule a walk-in appointment online.