Do their parents know something you don’t? Probably not, experts tell us. But keep these healthy-child habits in mind.
1. They keep their hands clean.
Hand-washing drastically reduces respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, so get your kids in the habit of sudsing up (or using a hand sanitizer) when they leave school or day care, after every play-date, and before they eat. Teach them to sing “Happy Birthday” twice before rinsing.
2. They’re active every day.
Studies indicate that regular exercise can cut the number of cold and flue episodes occurring over the course of a year by 25 to 50 percent, possibly by boosting the circulation of infection-fighting cells. Exercise is better than any supposed cure or miracle products, as per experts.
3. They should get plenty of sleep.
Sleep deprivation nearly doubles the risk of getting cold or flue. Most babies need about 14 hours of sleep a day; preschoolers, anything between 11 and 13 hours.
4. They really try to avoid touching their face.
Cold and flu viruses enter the body through the nose, eyes, and mouth, so help your child keep her hands away from those areas. Since this is a difficult task, hand-washing at strategic moments is important. Also teach her never to share a straw, a cup, or a toothbrush.
5. They have a healthy diet.
A balanced diet with plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables will help boost your kid’s immune system. Look especially for foods rich in vitamin C (broccoli, strawberries, oranges) and vitamin D (tuna and cereals).
6. They get the flu vaccine.
It’s highly recommended to help prevent influenza. The vaccine can be given to kids 6 months and older, and needs to be taken every year.