Post by Jessica R.

Whether or not you’ve decided to get your children vaccinated against the flu there are a few things you can do to keep them, and yourself healthy this winter.

1) Wash, wash, wash your hands. And when you’re done? Do it again.
Clean hands are key and three seconds under cold running water won’t cut it. Soap, hot water, and a nice little ditty is what you need. Lather up and sing Happy Birthday, I’m a Little Teapot, or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Or do what we do at home, make up silly lyrics to old favorites, it’ll keep the kids from rushing through the song and not washing their hands long enough.

Use paper towels to dry those clean hands. If that’s just too wasteful then make sure that every member of the family has a different hand towel, and yes, wash them often.

2) Keep those hands clean, even in public.
You can’t stay inside forever, not even with Netflix and the best grocery deliveries. So yes, you’re going to encounter some germs along the way. But you can beat them!

Avoid touching public doors and handles with your bare hands. Use your hips,  elbows, or feet to open doors. Moms used to having their hands full already know all the right moves. Think twice before touching anything and when in doubt use a sleeve to protect your hands.

For those times when you can’t avoid touching a public surface a quick squirt of hand sanitizer should take care of any germs you encounter. You just have to remember to use it and to carry it with you at all times.

3) Where are you taking your kids?
People waiting to pick up prescriptions at drugstores, Target, or Walmart take their kids to the toy aisle to entertain them. Parents stuck at home with sick kids sometimes escape to the public library to stock up on books and kill a couple hours. Keep that in mind before you let your kids loose to check out the new toys.

4) Eat well, drink lots, and sleep as much as you can.
You know keeping your body well rested, fed, and hydrated will help you fight off germs and viruses, your kids need you to remind them.

Protein makes you strong, vitamins keep you healthy. A colorful plate is a plate filled with vitamins. And no, that doesn’t mean buying rainbow plates and piling them high with mashed potatoes and frozen chicken nuggets. Play a game with your kids to see how many different colors they can eat in day. Gummy bears don’t count. Unless they’re vita-gummies.

Speaking of vitamins, check with your pediatrician before you start doling them out, but vitamins C and D3 help fight off the flu.

5) Forget what your mother taught you. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hand.
It used to be the polite thing to do, now it’ll get you the stink eye from parents in the know. Teach your child to cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue or the crook of an elbow. And if they used a tissue, please, throw it away ASAP.

What else are you doing to keep everyone around you healthy this winter?

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2 Responses

  1. Myrna says:

    And if I could only get my teenage son to remember that swishing hands under a running faucet is NOT washing it’s rinsing…then the piggie flu may not hit my house. Congrats on a great start to your Tiny Prints career!

  2. Ellie says:

    All so true. I’m a school teacher, and I know people think I work in a cootie factory (okay, I do), but we are pretty tough on who can come to school. We teach kids how to wash hands and how to sneeze (into one’s elbow).

    At the same time though, if we’re healthy we have to continue to live–can’t give into the fear of flu!

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