Keeping kids clean is no easy task, regardless of their age. Parents are all too familiar with the constant fight to keep hands from being sticky and noses from being runny, but during flu season, it’s more important than ever! Follow these easy tips to keep your child hygienic during this school year and reduce their risk for illness.
The importance of clean hands can’t be overstated. Teach your child that proper hand washing should include them lathering the tops and bottoms of their hands, as well as between their fingers. They should scrub for the length of time it takes to sing the ABC’s before washing and drying. Encourage them to wash their hands frequently, especially before meals and after using the restroom. Let them pick out their own mini hand sanitizer to attach to a backpack or lunchbox incase a sink isn’t nearby!
Master the Vampire Sneeze/Cough
Just telling children to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze isn’t enough. Instead of covering with their hands, teach them how to vampire sneeze/cough. This is when the child turns their head into their elbow, blowing any potential germs into their sleeve rather than onto their hands.
Getting the Flu Shot
Every child over the age of 6 months should receive their yearly flu vaccine during the month of October. If they’re feeling nervous, take them with you when you get yours! Some children may even be able to get their flu vaccine through nasal spray if they’re afraid of needles. Flu shots can be found at any urgent care center, as well as most pharmacies and primary care offices.
Staying Aware of Possible Contaminants
Teach your child about possible contaminants they come into contact with each day. This includes things like germs on other children, door handles, and desks, as well as contaminants from undercooked foods. Once you explain what they should be aware of, your child is more likely to be able to avoid these contaminants entirely.
It’s impossible to keep your child from ever getting sick but educating and vaccinating them is a great place to start! Make sure to take your time and explain everything in terms that they understand. After you show them how to wash their hands or why it’s important to avoid contaminants, answer any questions they may have. These things are second nature to us as adults, but it’s all brand new to their young minds! If your child does contract the flu this winter, visit your local urgent care center to receive the treatment they need in a quick and affordable way.