Written by the Good Health team.
Although there is no way to guarantee your child won’t catch a bug, the best way to fight winter ills and chills is to prevent them from occurring or being passed on in the first place. An unwell child can not only affect the whole family’s health, but can mean days off work, school or day care; not to mention the emotional stress. Follow our top 7 germ-fighting strategies and start boosting your little Kiwis immune systems before winter sets in.
Create good habits from an early age and teach your child to wash their hands with soap and warm water particularly after they use the bathroom and before meals or eating. Regular hand-washing is the simplest, most effective way to get rid of bugs and prevent them from spreading.
Most winter ills and chills are airborne and so are easily transmitted by simply breathing near someone that is already infected; and the spreading of bugs is increased if you are sneezing onto your hands without washing them afterwards. Sneezing into the inside corner of the elbow or using a tissue can help to reduce the number of germs on your hands and can reduce the spread of bugs particularly when your child is frequently touching their eyes, nose and ears with their hands.
A healthy, balanced diet will ensure your child gets more immune-protective vitamins through their food. A child’s immune system can be overwhelmed by food additives, preservatives and sugar. Eating wholefoods that are easy to digest will ensure the immune system has more energy to focus on winter invaders. Breakfast is often where unwanted sugars sneak into the diet. As little as half a teaspoon of sugar can decrease immunity for up to two hours!
Naturally boosting the immune system provides the extra support little bodies need to protect them against winter ills and chills. Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc are well-known, effective vitamins and minerals for supporting and strengthening the immune system. But have you heard of Wellmune®? Wellmune® is clinically researched specifically with children for less days off daycare and school. It helps to boost children’s immune systems without over stimulating. And if they do get sick having a stronger immune system will help with a speedy recovery. Find out more here.
Although we usually encourage our children to share with one another, particularly around winter time, we need to remind our children not to share their food and drink bottles. Explain to your child that they should only sip on their own bottle and eat their own food to help stop the spread of germs.
Make the most of the earlier sunset and get your kids into a regular bedtime routine so they are sleeping as much as possible. The more rest and repair your child can get, the more prepared their immune system will be to fight off ills and chills.
Children have the same response to stress that adult’s do; their cortisol and adrenaline rise which subsequently decreases the effectiveness of their immune system. It is important for children to have some down time; time of simple play and time of rest. Reducing stress levels can play a huge role in fending of sickness and stress from a number of sources whether it is sport, homework or environmental factors.
Ills and chills are a common threat to a child’s health, particularly during the winter months. Ensuring your child has a strong, healthy immune system is the best line of defence and with a well-supported immune system even when your child does get ill, they will bounce back faster. Supporting your child’s immune system with our top 7 germ-fighting strategies will help to ensure a healthier, happier winter season for you and your family.
Good Health is a proudly New Zealand operated business, started over a quarter of a century ago by John Blanchard. At Good Health, we understand how the power of nature can boost your body’s natural immunity and support systems, enhancing your health and vitality.