Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL is an early childhood development center. With the winter season approaching, Pioneer Play School provides below some tried and true strategies for keeping young children healthy and thriving this season.
For kids, winter means that the holidays are coming. For parents, it means that the cold and flu season is here once again!
According to the National Library of Medicine, colds are more common during the fall and winter seasons, as children stay indoors for most of the time and are in closer contact with each other. Because of this, it seems that children catch one cold after another throughout the duration of winter.
Dr. Michael Lee, a pediatrician at Children’s Care and UT Southwestern Medical Center, says “staying indoors and playing together means that children are in closer proximity to each other, breathing in and sharing air that may be contaminated with viruses, infections, and germs.”
So how do keep our kids from getting sick during the winter season? Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL discusses more below.
Pioneer Play School on What Makes Kids Prone to Illness During Winter
Contrary to popular belief, the cold weather itself does not cause illnesses.
Apart from the reason stated above, it has also been established that the flu virus is more stable and can stay in the air longer in cold and dry climates, infecting more people.
Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL also notes that with shorter hours of daylight, the lack of sunlight causes a decrease in levels of melatonin and Vitamin D in the body – both needing sunlight for their generation. As a result, the immune system becomes compromised, leading to a greater susceptibility to get sick.
Common Illnesses in Children During Winter
|5 to 14 days||Saline|
Possible diarrhea or vomiting
|7 to 14 days||Rest|
Medicine if prescribed by pediatrician
|7 to 14 days||Saline|
|Resolves within 1 day of treatment||Antibiotics|
|Stomach Flu||Mild Fever|
|1 to 5 days||Hydration|
How to Avoid Illnesses and Stay Healthy
Always Have Healthy Food and Drinks Available
To help boost a child’s immune system, provide them with nutritious meals and snacks, especially foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Don’t forget to switch it up and add variety – try other Vitamin C-rich fruits such as lemon, lime, kumquat, or grapefruit.
Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL suggests incorporating other foods that fortify the immune system including spinach, ginger, garlic, and red bell peppers. It’s best to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and limit their intake of sweets and junk food.
Enforce Sleeping Hours
With a winter school break comes later sleeping hours for the kids.
One of the best ways to keep children healthy during winter is to make sure they are getting sufficient amount of sleep, as a well-rested body is better at fighting off viruses. Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL notes that it’s ideal to start enforcing a set time for the children to sleep every night so that their body clock gets adjusted.
According to Kids Health, pre-school aged kids (3 to 5 years) need 11 to 14 hours of sleep (including naps) while school-aged kids (6 to 13 years) need 9 to 12 hours of quality sleep.
Teach and Practice Proper Handwashing
Younger kids tend to put their hands on everything then proceed to eat with their hands or put their fingers in their mouth. This is one of the quickest ways viruses get inside the body.
Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL says to keep children safe, teach them to wash their hands properly before mealtime, after using the toilet, after touching pets, after blowing their nose, and after playing. Be sure to prepare a gentle handwashing soap and teach them the proper way of handwashing.
Limit Their Sugar Intake
Staying away from sugar is one of the best ways to stay healthy in winter. As mentioned above, it’s best to limit the children’s access to sweets and junk food. Increased sugar intake not only suppresses the immune system but also increases the chance of inflammation, making children more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses.
Pioneer Play School of Hoover, AL says that with plenty of sweet treats coming in from Halloween through Christmas, it is the parents’ responsibility to keep an eye on their kids’ sugar consumption.
It only takes a few simple changes and some extra caution to keep kids healthy during winter. Enforcing the tips above will help ensure that children spend their Christmas happy and playing, not sick in bed.