Hey Socialites! I hope y’all enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday! It was so nice being able to spend time with my family along with eating, laughing, and playing games! The only downside of our holiday is that Bella caught a really bad chest cold. ? While we were waiting at the Urgent Care, I began wondering why I hadn’t been diligently using my tried and true methods for preventing and fighting colds. Now that Bella is on the mend, I’m going to make sure we avoid these unnecessary trips to the doctor (and the long wait). I’m sharing my 5 tips to keeping your child(ren) healthy over the holidays!
Wash, Wash, Wash…
Hands, that is. It goes without saying that hand washing is hands down the number one way to wage war against nasty germs, but it bears repeating! We taught Bella how to wash her hands at the age of 1 (with us holding her up to the sink). Now that’s she’s 2, she looks forward to dragging her step stool over to the sink for a good old hand washing. But, as it often happens, we slacked off over the the past 2-3 weeks due to being on the go, and lo and behold: She got sick. Moral of the story? We will be extra vigilant about hand washing to keep her healthy over the holidays and winter season.
The Nose Knows
How many of us have seen children (our own and everyone else’s ?) wiping their nose with their hands, their sleeve, or anything else that is NOT a tissue? A simple tactic to keep your child healthy over the holidays is to teach your child to blow, and then keep their hands away from their nose! Blowing your nose helps your body get rid of the mucus the body is producing, and it also helps to control a runny nose until meds can take effect! Make sure your child knows to use a clean tissue each time, and to dispose of used tissues properly.
Also, teach your child not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth until they have washed their hands.
A Vitamin A Day
There is a debate over the efficacy of Vitamin C on colds, but most doctors and scientists agree that while Vitamin C might not prevent colds, it can shorten the duration, and make symptoms less severe. You don’t have to go to the extreme, but you can give your child a daily cup of orange juice or a vitamin supplement (no more than 500mg unless under the care of a physician). *This is another area where we got lax. Bella was taking a daily chewable Vitamin faithfully, but we got off track over the past month. Bet we won’t forget now!
She’s on the mend now!
Protect Your Child’s Sleep Schedule
The holiday season is hectic enough to get anyone off their usual schedule. Combine that with family and friends dropping by, and you’ll find that it’s all too easy for your little one(s) to stay up later than their usual bedtime. Bella is 2 and is usually in bed by 9, but over Thanksgiving, she was having so much fun with her cousins that she often didn’t get to bed until 11 or 11:30pm. I feel bad about that now, because I know that lack of sleep can lead to lowered resistance. Sleep is one of the main ways that our bodies repair and heal, so making sure your child gets enough rest is vital to keeping your child healthy over the holidays!
Determine if Urgent Care is the right choice
During the holidays, your child’s pediatric facility may be closed, or have shortened hours, which means you may have to choose between an urgent care or a trip to the ER if your child’s fever spikes, or their symptoms worsen. While no one looks forward to an ER visit (and wait), it’s important to remember that many Urgent Care facilities are not equipped for infants and toddlers, and they can lack child friendly settings, and child sized equipment. Often times the fast “in and out” approach many urgent care centers take can lead to symptoms being overlooked in nonverbal infants, or toddlers who cannot yet put their feelings into words. Fortunately, our Urgent Care is fast, cutting edge, and very child friendly, and Bella was able to quickly get the care she needed! I recommend reading reviews or having a discussion with your family doctor to determine the best Urgent Care in the area for your child!
Having a sick child during the winter holidays is no fun, but try to keep it all in perspective. Most of the symptoms associated with winter colds and viruses begin to subside in 3-5 days either on their own, or with antibiotics prescribed by your child’s doctor. In the interim, keep up the hand washing, stock up on tissues, and pass the OJ!