Want to enjoy the holiday season with joy & not a sick child? Here’re tips to help you and your children avoid common illnesses during the holidays
Regardless of what you’re celebrating, the holiday season is upon us and with it comes plenty of germs! Between colds, flu bugs, and other illnesses, it’s essential to practice healthy habits to keep your batteries charged and your children healthy during the holidays.
At Nightingale Home Nursing we want to enjoy your holiday season with joy, laughter, and cheer and not a sick child or loved one. Our DHA registered home nurses have put together their top tips to help you and your children avoid common illnesses during the holidays.
Wash Your Hands Often
Hand washing is one of the most beneficial habits we can teach our children. Think of hand washing as a simple “do-it-yourself” vaccine that’s a win for everyone except the germs. Hand-washing is especially important after using the restrooms and before meals. If you’re planning on travelling this holiday season, keep hand sanitizer within reach to “wash” those germs away when you are on-the-go.
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most critical steps you can take to avoid spreading germs to others and getting sick. When you wash your hands be sure to use soap and clean, hot running water. Rub them together for at least 20 seconds to ensure you are killing all of the bacteria you may have come in contact with. If you have trouble keeping your children at the sink for this amount of time, sing their favourite song while you wash. It makes the process fun and helps the time pass.
Catch Those Sneezes and Coughs
Be sure to teach your children to sneeze or cough into their elbow or a tissue instead of their little hands. The earlier you instill this behaviour, the better. This simple act helps to prevent germs from spreading to every surface they touch.
Encourage your children to keep their hands out of their mouth. Everything they touch is a potential breeding ground for bacteria and illness. Subways, trains, cabs, aeroplanes, and other forms of public transportation are full of infectious germs. Keeping their hands out of their mouths will help your children stay healthy during the holiday season. If this is something your child struggles with, re-emphasise the importance of frequent and proper hand washing.
Get Plenty of Rest
Another way to keep your children healthy during the holiday season is and to boost their immune system is to ensure they are getting enough rest. Children should sleep uninterrupted, anywhere from 8-14 hours per night, depending on their age. For example, a 1-year-old toddler requires more sleep than a 13-year-old.
A good night’s sleep allows the body time to rest and protects the body from injury and illness. Additionally, well-rested children wake alert and ready to handle the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Eat Healthy Foods From the Rainbow
When we say eat from the rainbow, we do not mean holiday cookies, candies and other colourful sugary treats. This means teaching your children to eat a well-balanced diet comprised of eating healthy fruits and vegetables in assorted colours. Think blue blueberries, green spinach, yellow and red peppers, orange carrots and any other colourful fruit or vegetable that’s high in healthy vitamins.
Sure, you’re all going to eat sugary sweets during the holiday season, but if you eat them in moderation, your body will thank you for it. When you fuel your body with healthy foods, it’s better equipped to fight off infection and illness, such as the cold and flu.
Get Nutritional Support
A well-balanced diet is high in lean proteins, whole grains, fibre, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables and fruits. However, we know that it’s hard to eat the right things during the busy holiday season. Consider enlisting the help of a home nurse to help customise a nutritional plan to help you through the holidays.
Nightingale DHA registered home nurses can help you create nutrition plans that will keep you and your children healthy through the holiday season and beyond. Additionally, your home nurse can also work with your childcare providers and nannies to ensure that they are promoting a healthy lifestyle for your children.
Stick to the above tips to keep your children and family healthy during the holiday season. If you need a few more tips, contact the professionals at Nightingale to speak with one of our registered nurses. Stay healthy and Happy Holidays from our family to yours!