Health Tips from a Mother of Three

Baby, It's Cold Outside: 4 Tips To Help Keep The Kids Safe And Healthy

Old Man Winter is here. The temperatures have turned cold, the winds are blowing, and the snow is coming (if it hasn't already arrived). Before long, there will be snowballs to be made and thrown, hills to slide down, and snowmen to build. However, at the same time, these activities also mean that your kids will be spending a lot of time outdoors in the cold, chilly weather where they can get injured and sick. To help keep them safe and healthy, here are a few tips:

Make Sure They Keep Their Hands Washed

During the colder weather, your children's immune systems tend to become a bit more compromised than they do in the summertime. In addition, the frigid air causes irritation to the membranes in their noses and their respiratory tracts, which leads to an increased vulnerability to illnesses, such as colds and the flu. To help reduce your kids' chances of getting sick, make sure that they are washing their hands frequently. This is especially true after using the restroom, before eating, after playing outside, and after sneezing/coughing.

Have Them Sneeze/Cough into the Bend of Their Elbow

This tip is in line with the first one. When your children cough or sneeze, make sure that they know that they should do so into the bend of their elbow rather than into their hands. This helps to reduce the spread of germs (the flu and colds).

Dress Them in Layers

During the winter, it is particularly important that your children dress in layers when they head outdoors. For younger children, a good rule of thumb is to dress them in an additional layer than what you would wear in the same type of weather. The outermost layer should be water- and wind-resistant if possible, while the inner layers should be made of polypropylene or wool since these materials hold the most heat in (though cotton will work if you don't have the others). Also, make sure that your child's head, hands, and feet are completely covered, as this is an absolute necessity during winter weather. In addition, it is crucial that they change out of clothes when the clothes get wet.

Get Them Their Flu Vaccine

This is an important one; get your child the flu vaccine! Don't wait until the last minute, either. Instead, get it as soon as it is available. When your child becomes ill with the flu, it means that they are in discomfort. In addition, they'll miss school. Plus, they are also at risk of developing more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia. So reach out to your child's pediatrician and schedule a visit to get the flu vaccine for your child if you haven't already.