Fall is here! Isn‘t it nice, to have cooler temperatures after summer? I love fall… everything getting a bit more cozy, doing things that would have been too exhausting at 85° F and settle in our daily routine after vacations. But there is one thing I hadn‘t missed about being back to cooler temperatures: the illnesses, which come up, as soon, as the line on the thermometer drops. Do coughs and sneezes go with fall, as muddy kid‘s wellies in the hallway go with rainy days? Or can I protect my family from always catching a cold from october on till the first lilies of the valley appear in spring?
Yes! There are some tricks to stay healthy during the cold months of the year. And if your kids got the flu in spite of this, read here what‘s my most helpful tool to overcome it safely.
This is acutally rule number one, two and three: wash your hands. Wash your hands regularly throughout the day: always when you get home and especially before eating and after going to the toilet. Hand hygiene is most important to avoid infections! Many pathogens are transmitted by the hands and washing one‘s hands interrupts this transmission. So make sure, your kids wash their hands thoroughly and ritualized after or before certain actions. Correct hand-washing takes at least 20 seconds, should be done with soap and include the space between the fingers, the back of hands and fingernails. Also, teach your kids to do this independently in school an kindergarten, because this is, where most of the germs come from.
Hand sanitizers are not necessary in general.
Supply your kids with important vitamins every day. The human body needs sufficient vitamins to fight germs. Only a well nourished immune defence can use its full power, to kill those nasty intruders off. So make sure, your kids eat a good variety of fresh vegetables and fruits every day. I hear you sigh. As if it was this easy – your kids despise everything that could be classified as ‚vegetables‘? Try to sneak it in inconspicuous. A yummie berry-banana smoothie, puréed brokkoli pasta sauce or sweet avocado cream works for most kids. My favourite and most used trick is to hand my hungry kids vegetables, while I prepare the meal. When food is not yet ready, they love to snack on carrot sticks or a slice of paprica.
Heatings are such a great invention. Can you imagine living without a working heating system in winter? There is just a downside to the cozily heated warm air: it dries the mucosa in the nose and makes it therefore prone to infections. On the surface of mucuous membranes are fine cilias, which take away foreign objects and bacteria. If the air is too dry, these cilias dry out and germs can penetrate into the body.
But of course, we don‘t want to spend the winter in icy cold houses so what is the solution?
Airing the rooms, hanging a wet towel on the heater or investing in an air humidifier is not necessary – and often not even helpful. But drinking sufficiently helps! So take care that your kids drink enough during the day.
Stay away from sick pals
When my daughter had her fourth birthday, my sister came to visit with her two year old daughter. ‚She had a temperature this morning, but she‘s well off!‘ she told me. On this day, she totally was. But just a few hours later her temperature rised up to 106° F and she got a skin rash. And so did my kids, a couple of days later. This illness lastet rather long and totally knocked us all out and I guess it wasn‘t an enjoyable birthday party for my niece either.
Bringing her in spite of being not fully fit was not out of bad intention, of course, But unnecessary, nonetheless. You don‘t have to barricade yourself the whole winter months but avoiding contact to obviously sick people is always a good idea.
Which leads us to my next point: Cure illnesses completely
Let your kids rest, when they are ill. Don‘t send them to school or kindergarten. This should go without saying, but just too often, kids are brought to day care anyway. Because parents need to go to work or too many lessons have been missed already. This is not only unfair to fellows, who might get infected, too. But it is also very shortsighted. When the immune system is weakened already, getting sick anew becomes even more likely. So the intended plan to save on sick days won‘t work. Instead, it will make you have to stay at home even longer. Grant your kids to cure completely at home before you send them out into the world with a strong immune system.
And also a shoutout to my favorite fever tool ever: the degree° thermometer. It shows you exactly when the temperature rises, gives you advice on how to treat the fever and learns from experience. You get a fever curve, which makes it easy to determine, when your kids are fit enough to go back to their usual routines. It is such a clever little helper that does not only guide you through fever episodes but is also a useful tool to avoid getting sick. Because haven‘t we all had situations where we misjudged the physical condition of our child due to too little experience and comparative values? This won‘t happen with degree anymore. If your child seems to be in poor health but a normal thermometer would display a healthy body temperature, degree° might just know better. It tells you, whether the temperature is about to rise, which is much more significant to decide about your next steps. If a starting flu-like infection is taken directly with the right measures, the illness often can be averted. And you will know, when the fever is gone down for sure so to not let your kid to school or kindergarten too early to catch a new infection right away.