There is no way of keeping the children away from bugs when they start school, but there are ways of making sure that they don’t affect them too badly.
Since Sebastian started pre-school he has managed to pick up a couple of colds and a case of Hand, Foot and Mouth but thankfully hasn’t been as poorly as he was last year, where everything he picked up seemed to affect his throat and chest and I think the changes we have made at home have certainly helped.
Because he was so poorly last year, I invested in a humidifier for his bedroom and it has worked wonders. Dry air can lead to a number of health-related issues including dry skin and eczema as well as an increased susceptibility to viruses and also worsen asthma and allergies. Hydrated air moisturises the skin and airways, creating a barrier against infections such as cold and flu and although he has still suffered from the colds, they have not been as bad as they were last year and as he and Eliza share a room, she has benefitted too.
Another change I have made is not just wiping away the dreaded snot, but sucking it out instead with a Nasal Aspirator. This helps him keep his nose clear and prevents any mucus heading into his lungs which can cause a chest infection.
Something I will have always done and will continue to do is getting the kids outdoors on a daily basis. I am a big believer in getting the kids outdoors for an hour at least once day, whatever the weather. Not only is it good for their health, but being out in the cool air can help bring down temperatures and makes them feel better.
Playing outside, visits to the beach, building dens, jumping in muddy puddles and having stick sword fights is also good for their immune system as when the children come into contact with dirt in a natural way (outside) and on a regular basis, they are less likely to develop autoimmune disorders and allergies, plus they are getting lots of exercise and using their imaginations which in turn helps them sleep. A win / win for children and us parents!
Talking of sleep; Research has found that not getting enough sleep can make you three times more likely to pick up the cold or flu virus, so ensuring you get a good night’s sleep is vital for keeping healthy. If you or your children are having trouble sleeping, ensure your room is between 18-21°C, choose a mattress with the right level of support for you, and consider fitting black out blinds to make the bedroom the ideal environment for the perfect sleep.
I am very proud to be featured on the Benson’s for Beds blog as part of their Winter Family Health feature.