It’s that time of year again. Fall is upon us, the leaves are changing, the air is turning a little more brisk, and as you pull out the warmer clothes you notice that your children’s pants from last year now only reach their ankles. Most of us love the fall season and all the changes that it brings, but no one enjoys the usual illnesses that seem to tag along with it. Sickness doesn’t have to be part of your fall season, though, so here are a few tips to keep your household well this year.
1. WASH THOSE HANDS
This may seem obvious, but there is a reason this old adage is plastered all over the doctor’s waiting room and every bathroom: it works! As adults this isn’t something that we seem to have a problem remembering, but if your kids are like most, you have to constantly remind them to wash their hands. The Mayo Clinic recommends washing with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing to properly ensure the removal of germs, and if possible, use a towel to turn off the faucets and on any bathroom door handles. Take the time to teach your children the proper way to wash and gently remind them what happens when we don’t.
2. STAY HOME
If your child has a fever, colored mucus, or a cough, please keep them home. Nothing good will come of sending them to church or school while they are contagious, and try to think of how doing so will affect other families. Your child caught their sickness from somewhere, so be a friend and don’t pass on the gift to anyone else. If in doubt, call your doctor to see whether or not you should send your children to school.
3. EAT HEALTHY & REST
It is a proven fact that when our bodies are tired, stressed, or lack appropriate nutrition, our immune systems become compromised and it is much harder for them to fight any bugs that attack. Ensuring your children eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, get enough sleep every night, and aren’t overwhelmed is necessary to maintaining a healthy body. Try to aim for 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, 8-11 hours of sleep a night (depending on age), and try very hard not to keep too rigorous a schedule.
4. STOP SHARING
This may go against everything that you are trying to teach your children, but sharing snacks, drinks, or even pencils is a great way to promote the spread of germs. It would be wise to have a conversation with your children about what we can share (swings or turns on the slide) and what we can’t share (water bottles or apple slices) and why these rules exist. Depending on the personality of your children, this may or may not be an issue!
If everyone does their part to practice proper health regimens, we can all have a great fall without the fear of illness making its way into our households. By teaching our kids how and why we do these things, we are setting them up for a future of being healthy and understanding the way that God designed our wonderful bodies.
Here’s to a happy and healthy Fall!