There are many ways to protect your family from illness caused by germs.
When your kids head back to school and the cooler months hit, germs and sickness tend to follow not long after. While keeping your family healthy is a top priority, you may need some help convincing them that mitigating germs is a necessary step in keeping them feeling their best. Read the list NYCM insurance created below to learn a few ways to keep those back-to-school germs at bay and keep your family as healthy as possible this school year.
Teach your kids what germs are and how they can cause illnesses.
Kids tend to understand best when they’re taught with detail. Explain what germs and viruses are and how they multiply and spread. Tell them why it’s important to rid your hands and belongings of germs throughout the day. Make sure you do your research first and learn the facts on germs, then encourage your little one to share their new knowledge with friends! You never know, you might start a mini anti-germ movement, saving the community from a few viruses here and there.
Encourage and model proper hand-washing thoroughly and often.
You know what they say, monkey-see monkey-do! Be a role model to your family when it comes to washing your hands. Make it fun, sing a song, count to 20, add lots of bubbles! Teach your family members to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom and any time they are dirty or touch a shared object. Arm them with hand sanitizer to take to school and work to use when they can’t get to a sink (some germs are resistant to hand sanitizer, so teaching them not to rely on it is key).
Make sure everyone is getting enough Vitamin ZZZ.
Your children probably plead to stay up later on school nights, but proper sleep is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your whole family. That includes you! Adequate sleep helps to fight off infection, illness and stress by producing a protein known as Cytokine, which also promotes growth, can increase attention span and reduces the risk of injury.
Offer lots of fruits and vegetables to boost their immune systems.
Whole, nutritious foods play a big part in our overall health. Help keep germs and sickness at bay by emphasizing the importance of eating fruits and vegetables with your family. Foods high in Vitamin C are especially important, as they are known to be a great antioxidant when it comes to skin health and immune function. Foods like broccoli, bell peppers, kiwis and citrus fruits are all great sources of Vitamin C. If you struggle to get your family to willingly swallow their veggies, try incorporating them into new meals, healthy baked goods and smoothies or talk to your doctor about vitamin supplements for your family members.
Incorporating probiotics into your meals is a great idea as well. Boosting your system with healthy bacteria is a great way to stay healthy. Things like incorporating a yogurt parfait into your breakfast routine or packing a yogurt tube in your kid’s lunch is a great way to get healthy probiotics into their system.
Wipe down surfaces and school supplies daily.
Keeping your home free of germs doesn’t come easy. It’s important that you are wiping down surfaces often, such as kitchen counters, the refrigerator handle, door knobs, faucets and any high-traffic areas that your family touches frequently. A water and bleach solution is the best way to rid your home of germs, but be sure to keep the bleach away from your children. It’s also a good idea to disinfect your children’s backpack and any supplies they’ve brought home. If you’re really invested in keeping germs at bay, have them change their clothes as soon as they come home from school and leave their shoes at the door when they walk in, as to not track outside germs and bacteria through the house.
Keep your child home if they’re sick.
Simply put, staying home and away from others is one of the most effective ways to help avoid the spread of germs and illness. If you or your child has a fever or is vomiting, it’s imperative that they stay home to rest and recover before coming into contact with others. If there is no fever but they have a runny nose and are sneezing or coughing frequently, it may be best to keep them home for a day, too. It’s especially important for small children that aren’t well versed in tissue-etiquette to stay home when frequently coughing and sneezing, which can help to stop the spread of germs.
Catching a cold or the dreaded stomach virus every now and then is a part of life. But there are many ways to help you and your family keep germs at bay. Be sure to use these tips throughout the year to keep everyone feeling their best.