We’re halfway through December, which means flu season is in full swing. With that in mind, we wanted to pass along some helpful tips to help your kids stay healthy and avoid catching the bug. At Treasure Tower World we do a lot of work with dentists and pediatricians, with a goal of rewarding well behaved kids to make appointments stress-free for everyone involved. If you are looking to add a rewards system to your practice, call us today!
The first line of defense when trying to avoid getting sick is proper hand washing, which many people don’t practice. To combat germs and illnesses, wash your hands in warm water with soap for about 20-30 seconds for best results. Let kids know how important it is to have good hand washing habits, not just for their health and safety, but for others around them. If they’re having trouble doing it long enough, take this time to review things they’re learning in school like numbers or the alphabet. Washing hands isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but if you can take advantage of this time it will feel more worthwhile for you and the kids. Advise them to wash their hands before and after eating and after they touch a door handle especially, as this is how most germs are spread.
Depending on your kid’s demeanor, this could be easy or incredibly difficult. It’s important to make sure your body gets an appropriate amount of rest to ensure immune systems are working properly. If you’re unsure of how much sleep might be recommended for your child, WebMD made a helpful resource that breaks it down by age groups. You may need to be stricter with bedtimes in order to make sure they’re sleeping long enough. It can also mean you might need to be stricter about rest in general. If your kiddo is being cranky, maybe nap time is a better choice than having a playdate.
One of the best ways to bolster a budding immune system is with a solid diet filled with fresh fruit, veggies, and plenty of water. We know how picky children can be, so if there’s just one type of fruit or vegetable they will reliably eat, stick with that through flu season, as long as it’s fresh. Many canned or frozen options have added sugar and sodium that should be avoided when possible. Don’t make this the time you try to get them to eat something they don’t like. The main goal is keeping them healthy, so that’s a battle you can fight after flu season ends.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things for healthy grown-ups, so it stands to reason it would be just as valuable for kids. When you’re hydrated your immune system will work better. If you’re dehydrated, you’re much more susceptible to catching and keeping any germs you run across. Making sure your child is drinking enough water can be a bit of a battle, but it is possible. If your child’s school allows it, send them to class with a water bottle and challenge them to finish the bottle before they get home.
Kids love to stick their hands in their mouth and rub them all over their face. Typically occurring more in younger children, it can be anything from dealing with teething or exploring their new tactile function. However, this is how most germs spread. Teach them to stop doing this, as your fingers don’t belong in your mouth. Remind them that this is where germs come from. Most kids hate getting sick, so implying they won’t be able to see their friends if they get sick is a pretty good motivator.
When you’re out and about, it can be tough to practice good hand washing habits. Unfortunately, out in public is a veritable breeding ground for germs. Combat this by keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer or package of wet wipes on you at all times for on-the-fly cleaning. Try handing your child a wet wipe to clean their hands with right after you pick them up from school to take care of any germs they could be bringing home from their classmates.
Just like preventative maintenance, a flu shot can help you and your family dodge influenza with no problem. Many doctor offices and pharmacies provide flu shots for pretty low prices, if not free. Immunization is no joke and can help us all stay healthier.
If your child has trouble eating healthy fruits and vegetables, you can try vitamin supplements to recover what is not being eaten in their normal meals. Vitamins D and C are both tied to immune system function, so they can help a lot with getting through the season. Consult your child’s physician to get the recommended vitamins and dosage information.
Staying active boosts the immune system and strengthens all bodily functions. When paired with the other pieces of this list, they become a united front standing in the way of dastardly germs that only want to get your family sick. Have your kids exercise at least 30 minutes a day to ensure their immune system stays strong and ready for battle.
This goes hand-in-hand with the healthy diet, but sugar warrants its own entry here. Why? Sugar suppresses immune systems, actively working against the rest of your body’s natural defenses. It does that by inhibiting phagocytosis, which is the process of white blood cells fighting off viruses and bacteria. Sugar can begin suppressing the immune system as soon as 30 minutes after eating it, and it can last up to five hours. When you’re trying to dodge something as tricky as the flu, having your immune system not functioning properly for that long puts you at serious risk when you have germs all around you.
It’s important that antibiotics are only being taken when dealing with a bacterial infection. While they help with bacterial infections, they also disrupt normal processes in your stomach, which can result in health issues and a weakened immune system. Make sure you are following doctor’s orders when giving your child medicine so you do not exacerbate the situation.
Catching the flu is no fun, so we hope these tips will help you and your family dodge the bug this season. Practice healthy habits, get enough rest, and forgo the sugar and you should be in good shape.
If your dental or medical office is currently using an open treasure box system for your toy rewards, you know children LOVE to dig in and hunt for their favourite toy. Since our toy tower is a closed toy rewards system, children can't dig through the toys in our Treasure Tower, greatly reducing the amount of pathogen transfer that can occur in an open treasure box system. Our toy tower can help to solve pathogen transfer and provide sanitary toys for children. If your child's doctor doesn't have our toy tower consider asking them to look into our Treasure tower Rewards Program.
If you’re a dental or medical practice that treats a lot of children, consider adding a Treasure Tower to your office. It’s a great way to reward little ones for being brave and well-behaved. Call us today! 1.877.889.5439 x87
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