Having the flu is not fun for anyone, and children are just as susceptible for getting it as adults are. The best way to minimize the symptoms, such as chills, fever, nausea, body aches, and runny nose, is to prevent the flu in the first place. Teaching kids about preventing flu is pretty simple, and here’s how to get started:
Emphasize Good Hygiene
Teaching your kids to wash their hands regularly should already be part of your daily routine. However, good hygiene is especially important during flu season. Make sure they know how to wash their hands correctly with soap, warm water, and at least 20 seconds under the water. Teach them to wash them after they have played outside, after petting the dog or cat, after touching their face, and before and after eating.
Because the flu is spread through the air, make sure to teach your kids what to do if they need to cough or sneeze. Show them how to sneeze into a Kleenex and cough into their elbow to keep it away from their hands. They should also wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.
Encourage Minimal Sugar Intake
Most kids love sugar, but it weakens the body’s immune system. If the flu is going around, teach your children about how sugar affects the body and encourage foods that help strengthen immunity. If they want something sweet, remind them that fruit is naturally sweet and has vitamins that further help with preventing flu.
Boost the Immune System
Taking certain supplements, such as vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea, as well as cold flu prevention medicine can help fight off the flu. However, not every kid likes to swallow pills. Look for liquid or chewable forms that will make it easier for them to take. Many of them are also have kid-friendly flavors, which further encourages children to want to take them.
Be a Good Role Model
Kids of all ages look up to parents and model their behaviors. Lead by example and make sure you are practicing all the habits you are teaching your children. Practice good hygiene and stay away from excess sugar, at least while they are around.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
Stress also negatively affects the immune system. Keep family stress to a minimum, and help your children manage school-related anxiety. If necessary, there are also calming remedies for children when they need extra help.
Reward Good Habits
Most kids respond well to positive reinforcement. When you see your children cover their cough with their elbows or use a tissue to sneeze in, tell them what a good job they are doing. Make a sticker chart and make a note every time hands are washed. Let your kids know that you are proud of them when they take care of their health.