It’s the time of year when stomach bugs are running rampant around our schools and homes. Every day you pick up your child hoping that they stay healthy through the season. We’ve compiled some tips on how to help boost you and your child’s immune systems to prevent the stomach bug from hitting your household.
- Pack your diet full of fruits and vegetables. These foods are enriched with different types of vitamins that are essential for strengthening your immune system. Foods that are rich with Vitamin C are especially helpful in boosting your immune system. This includes foods like carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries. These types of nutrients increase the body’s production of white blood cells.
- Increase sleep time. Have you ever thought about how when you’re sick all you want to do is sleep? Well there’s a reason for that! Sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to illness by reducing immune-system weapons that are necessary to attack microbes. Children today are at risk for sleep deprivation because all of the activities that they typically partake in can make it difficult to nap. Did you know that toddlers need around 12 to 13 hours of sleep? And preschoolers need about 10 hours? You might try enforcing a quiet time in the afternoon set aside for napping, or trying an earlier bedtime if you find that your child seems sluggish.
- Exercise as a family. Studies have shown that regular exercise increases natural killer cells in the whole family. Not only will this also fulfill your daily exercise time, but it’s a great way to spend quality time together doing something productive. When you’re strengthening your outside, you’re also strengthening your inside!
- Guard against germs. It’s the classic advice to make sure your children are washing their hands often, and that you’re wiping down surfaces with disinfectants to stop the spread of germs. Make sure that your kids are always using soap when they wash their hands as well, because we all know sometimes they like to cut corners. Another quick tip: if your child gets sick, throw away their toothbrush right away. This is a great way to stop the spread of germs to other brushes, and to prevent your child from getting sick again if they had a bacterial infection. These are just a few tips to keep in mind as we enter fully into flu season. Being cognizant of where your children are putting their hands or what they are playing with is the classic key to sickness prevention, but we hope these other tips have given you some food (we suggest fruits and veggies) for thought!