The teacher sent me a message telling me that Jenn was laying her head on the table and not very eager to please. She was always eager to please.
We both knew she was sick. And I knew it was coming… because with kindergarten comes exposure to all kinds of new germs our family hadn’t been exposed to.
In November and December alone, Jenn got sick 4 times. FOUR TIMES?! And it spread like wildfire through our family each time. So I devised a plan to keep the germs at bay and contain the sickness.
(And don’t forget to check out the parent’s guide to surviving winter with kids)
Easy solutions to prevent the flu, common cold, and nasty bugs from getting everyone sick
Obviously I can’t keep my kids from getting sick in general, but we can fight it to contain it. Sicknesses happen and it’s actually great for my children to build their immunes systems. But after 4 times of nasty germs going through all three kids and then my husband and I getting some of it too, I needed a better plan.
Ways germs find their way into your home
- Dirty hands (and subsequently wiping noses and eyes)
- Yucky Shoes
- Drinking fountains at school
- Gross backpacks
Beating sick season with these important after school rules (or after being in public)
These apply to more than just school. Maybe you don’t even have kids, these can work for adults coming home from work. It’s also great for parents who take their kids grocery shopping (because I have a kid who touches EVERYTHING and talks to EVERYONE).
We’re also a family who uses the YMCA and utilizes the babysitting there. Same rules apply.
Wash your hands
So simple, right? But kids forget to do it at school.
Therefore it has become part of an after school (and after public) routine to wash hands with warm soap and water while singing… any song really… twice.
Change into clean clothes and leave the shoes at the door
And then those dirty ol’ clothes covered in other kids’ coughs and sneezes and my own child’s spilled lunch. Yes, those go into the dirty clothes.
She wears a uniform. But in the winter months I don’t try to get multiple days out of it. We simply wash. And when we do, we use hot water.
Another big rule is to leave all shoes at the door. This keeps all the filth out of the house. Kids of all ages walk around barefoot and even crawl on the floors of the house and tracking in the sludge from the winter months or any number of gross things we may have stepped on from gum to dog poop to unwanted chemicals.
Take elderberry syrup
We make our own homemade elderberry syrup and use it to kick our immune systems into high gear like tiny fighting ninja in our bodies. Ha. But really, elderberry is an immune booster and an anti-viral. We use it both to help prevent illness but also to get better! (And when we run our or are short on time, we buy this one).
No sugar or processed foods
Sugar and processed foods don’t feed out body’s need for nutrients. And our kids need those nutrients to rebuild red blood cells.
So we focus on foods with a lot of Vitamin A. We also take a vitamin D supplement as its shown to support the immune system and most people are typically lacking during the winter months as the sun goes on vacation.
Plus don’t forget to get active indoors! Getting their bodies moving is part of being a healthy child.
Get enough sleep
When my kids aren’t sleep as much, they tend to get sick easier. This is because their bodies aren’t rebuilding like they need to and their immune systems go on the decline. Which means a strict early bedtime is instituted.
Pack a water bottle
One of the grossest places at school is the drinking fountain. It has lots of germs and doesn’t get cleaned as regularly as bathrooms. Plus kids are placing their mouths next to it and not their bottoms. So we try to always focus on sending a bottle of water instead.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!