Although winter is starting to wind down here in Colorado, cold and flu season is still upon us. Children, in particular, are still susceptible to germs that can cause both colds and the flu so it’s important to take precautions to keep your kids healthy this spring.
Get Those Zzz’s
Getting enough sleep is essential to keeping your child’s immune system healthy. General guidelines for kids are:
- Babies younger than 1 year require 12-18 hours per night
- Toddles ages 1-3 need 12-14 hours per night
- Preschoolers ages 3-5 need 11-13 hours per night
- Kids ages 5-10 need 10-11 hours per night
- Children ages 10 and up need about 9-10 hours per night
Teach Proper Handwashing
Have your kids get in the habit of washing their hands often to help avoid the spread of germs. Hands should be washed in clean water, rubbing soap in for about 20-30 seconds (or about enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). Make sure your child knows to wash under their fingernails, along with the rest of their hand for the most effective clean.
Change Toothbrushes Frequently
Did you know that toothbrushes can carry a large number of bacteria? When your child has been using the same toothbrush for a long time, they are exposed to these bacteria every day. To help keep your child healthy, change their toothbrush every 3 – 4 months. Make sure to clean the toothbrush holder too! And remind your child to never share their toothbrush with others.
Keep Kids Active
Being active can be an important part of boosting your child’s immune system. With the weather getting warmer, take the opportunity to get outside and keep your child active. Keep your children hydrated and make sure you use sunscreen any time your kid is outside to avoid any sun damage.
Cover Those Coughs
Kids aren’t always aware oh what might be spreading germs. If your child does develop a cough, teach them to cough either into a tissue or into their elbow, as opposed to their hands. This can help to prevent the spread of germs to make sure they don’t get sick later.
Keep these healthy tips in mind this spring and enjoy the season with happy, healthy kids!