Preventing Sick Kids
Published: Jan. 2, 2024
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Preventing Sick Kids

Preventing Sick Kids

 

We all know that the winter season brings with it many respiratory illnesses that can lead to missed days of school, work, or family gatherings. For some of us, especially those of us with small children, it can feel like our kids are always battling some kind of illness.

Well, here are a few things to remember to try to keep your children healthy this winter season:

 

  1. Ensure your children’s vaccinations are up to date. Vaccines help to protect our kids from getting very sick (and therefore those around them as well) from illnesses like influenza, COVID, pertussis, pneumonia, just to name a few.  In many cases it is the best protection we have.   Talk to your pediatrician at every well child visit about what vaccines your child may be due to receive.  If you have questions regarding vaccines, please talk to your pediatrician about them, as this will be one of your best and most accurate sources of information.
  2. Work with your children on how to properly wash their hands and start teaching them at a young age. Remind them to wash after they use the restroom, before and after they eat, after blowing their nose, and after outside play time.  Washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be effective.
  3. Teach your child to cover their cough or sneeze with their arms/elbows or a tissue. Most respiratory illnesses are spread via droplets so this helps to contain secretions and prevent them from landing on other people’s mucus membranes.
  4. If your child is at higher risk for illness due to a disability or chronic health condition, consider having them wear a mask when they are at school or around others.
  5. Teach your children how to take care of their bodies. As adults/caregivers, we lead by example.  Ensure everyone is getting adequate sleep at night time as this will be crucial in maintaining your child’s health. Ensure everyone is eating a good variety of nutritious feeds and drinking adequate amounts of water every day.  Continue to move your body and find ways to exercise which will improve both your physical and your mental health.
  6. Please keep your children home when they are sick. With respiratory illnesses, we usually recommend keeping your kids home until they are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication AND once they are showing signs of improvement in their symptoms.  When kids attend school or other functions when they are sick, they risk spreading their illness to many other children and adults, which could include those that are at higher risk for complications from illness or disease.

 

This blog was written by written by Arbor Medical Partner’s Dr. Jennifer Cropp

 

Sources:

www.cdc.gov

stlouischildrens.org