19 Aug Sick Kids?? How to stop the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses
Children are experts at spreading germs, bacteria and viruses. As parents you often dread your child catching a bug: give it a day or two and the chances are you too will have a runny nose and throat that feels like sandpaper. For a kid, it’s hard not to pick up germs if they are crawling around on the floor, mouthing everything in sight and sharing water bottles with friends. But how do you stay healthy and make sure other members of the family don’t catch the sniffles when one of your children is unwell?
Here’s a five step plan for how you can reduce the spread of germs:
- WASH YOUR HANDS:
Easy and simple, yet most of us fail to follow through. Simply washing your hands regularly will minimize your chances of catching a viral or bacterial infection. Encourage your children to wash their hands every time they come from outside, before and after the meals, after using the toilet etc. to prevent the spread of infections. When you have a sick child at home you can also use a hand sanitizer to kill any germs that soap left behind. Also, a good habit to instill in young children is to teach them the best way to sneeze and cough, either in a tissue, napkin or in the crook of their arm.
Disinfectant is your best friend when it comes to preventing the spread of nasty bugs. A nice clean scrubbing with alcohol or vinegar (natural alternative) for areas that come in frequent contact with the whole family like the doorknobs, phones, tablets, kitchen surfaces, and remote control would minimize the exposure. Once your child is feeling better wash all the germy toys with hot water and vinegar or a child friendly disinfectant. If your child has diarrhea/vomiting then take extra care to clean the bathroom fully.
- NO SHARING:
Sharing is caring but not when it comes to germs. It’s best to avoid sharing any food or drinks with your kid when they are sick as well as any towels, toys or even toothpaste should be avoided. Discourage siblings from playing in the same room.
This is a tricky one. A child needs comfort and more so when they are sick. Sit with them, tell them a story, and give lots of love and cuddles but try to avoid kissing them on the mouth and always wash up afterwards to protect yourself. In case of siblings, if possible try and keep them in different rooms and avoid sharing any toys or food.
- NUTRITION AND DIET:
In the end it all comes down to what we eat and how we take care of ourselves. If you are taking care of yourself, feeling healthy, you can take care of your family more effectively. Getting enough sleep, drinking lots of fluids and eating well and balanced meals are all part of your self care regime that we tend to ignore, especially when you are taking care of a sick child. All these things will also build your immunity allowing you to be healthier and stronger and be there for your bubbas when the need you the most.
While trying to protect the rest of your family from the germs your kids pick up is the right goal, remember that the odds are against you. Sometimes even after taking all the precautions it may be hard to avoid getting affected. In these cases, admit defeat and slow down, snuggle with your little ones and watch some cartoons. And as far as consulting a doctor is concerned, our Health at Hand team are here for you and your family, giving you an action plan to make sure you are on your way to recovery.