Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How to Keep Kids from Falling Sick

Catching a cold may not be on anyone’s wish list, but if one does catch up with us, we don’t go overboard in trying to deal with it. We take antibiotics if it’s severe, drink warm fluids, and spend a day or two in bed with a ton of tissues close at hand. But it’s a whole different story when kids fall ill, even when they have just a cold. They’re cranky all the time, they don’t know why they feel out of sorts, they don’t have an appetite, and they hate the medicine that both smells and tastes foul. I’ve seen what happens when my niece catches a cold – her blocked nose makes her jump up and down on the bed throwing a tantrum that her parents just cannot control.

I guess it’s a problem that will go away with time, as she grows up. But most kids her age make poor patients, which is why it’s best to try and prevent kids from falling sick rather than treating them after they do. Here’s what you can do to try and prevent your children from being affected by germs:

· Make them wash their hands regularly, especially when they've been outside or in the company of other people.

· Don’t encourage your toddler to put his or her hands in their mouth. It may keep them quiet for a while, but there are a whole load of germs going in with the saliva too.

· Monitor your kids to see that they don’t put toys or other objects in their mouth in lieu of a pacifier.

· Keep your kids’ toys clean.

· Don’t let your children handle paper money – they are prime candidates to carry germs.

· Breastfeed your children as long as possible to ensure that their immune systems are naturally strong.

· Make sure they eat healthy food that boosts their immune systems.

· Don’t go overboard on the antibiotics each time they do have so much as sneeze. While these pills are necessary at times, each time you take a particular antibiotic, the germs in your body are able to develop immunity to it. So the more antibiotics you take, the more immune your germs become. And when you really need the protection of an antibiotic, you’ll find that the germs in your body are able to resist any tablet you take.

· If your kids are babies, discourage people from kissing them. It’s a move that’s going to earn you a few glares, but it’s worth it if it means your child is healthy and happy.

· Keep your home clean and free of dust and clutter.

· Make sure your children’s plates and cups are clean and that the food they eat is prepared hygenically.

It’s the small things we do that add up to ensure the safety and protection of our little ones. Remember, it’s better to take the extra effort if it means avoiding frequent trips to the pediatrician’s office.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of nursing assistant schools She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24@gmail.com

Photo courtesy of: www.flickr.com

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