Did your child have a lot of colds last winter? Here are some simple strategies to help reduce the amount of colds they have this year.
In a nutshell, cold reduction requires preparation. Here are 9 tips to help your child reduce the chances of catching a cold.
- Teach your child how germs work. Explain that cold germs can make you sick, so we need to stop them from spreading.
- Wash hands regularly and properly to stop germs from spreading. Kids should wet their hands, lather their hands (front and back and between their fingers) with soap and rub them together for 20-30 seconds before rinsing. Keep track of the time by humming a tune – Baby Shark, anyone?
- Remind them not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth. This enables germs on their hands to enter their body.
- Don’t share cups, bottles or cutlery. Let them be selfish with their drink bottle to limit the spread of germs.
- Avoid people who have colds to reduce exposure to virus. If it’s someone you can’t avoid, like a family member, ensure everyone washes their hands frequently and make sure you clean common surfaces like door handles and light switches more often.
- Diet. Eat a range of fruits, veggies and whole grains to help ensure kids get the vitamins they need to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Probiotics. Your child’s gut microbes have an influence on their immune. Life-Space Children Immune Support Probiotic contains three strains of beneficial bacteria, combined with zinc and vitamin D, to support the health and function of the immune system. It can help to reduce the occurrence of common colds when given to healthy children in preparation for the cold season.
- Zinc. This mineral supports a healthy immune system. Zinc can be found in foods like red meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy foods, eggs, wholegrains, and even dark chocolate!
- Sleep. For a healthy immune system, children should ensure they get enough sleep. While more sleep won’t necessarily prevent colds, insufficient sleep means an important protein is produced less. This protein, called cytokine, is produced and released during sleep and it is involved in the immune response. It’s bedtime, kids!
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements should not replace a balanced diet.