Keeping children healthy this winter

You have to be a tad delusional to imagine that a child can sail through Winter without a cold.

The common garden varieties are a good way for kids to be exposed to germs and build up their immunity before they hit school. But there is a whole other range of nasties that I think we would all be fine with if we were never exposed to them.ART_2138

Topping the list would probably be ‘gastro’ and hand, foot and mouth. Albeit the detox and 24 hour weight loss benefits these viruses offer parents, seeing your child sick is awful. I think we can all get a bit complacent and I have been guilty of this.

We had a good run of a few months without sickness and you start feeling a little bit untouchable and then the universe goes – BAM, welcome back to reality here’s a dose of diarrhoea!

So here are a few pointers you can use to help your educators to keep the germs at bay this winter:

  1. Washing hands
    Kids under five love nothing more than putting hands into their mouth, the younger they are the more likely they are to be over-sharing. Routine is king. Get into the habit of washing hands when you arrive at childcare and then washing hands as you leave. My son has a habit of doing a 5 sec hand wash cause hand washing gets in the way of a busy day so getting them to sing a song or say a sentence gives them the amount of time they should take to give their hands a good wash. Thorough drying should also be part of the routine. Your educators play an important role in encouraging this routine and washing their own hands frequently.
  1. Exclusion of unwell children and staff
    Child care services and family day care have pretty clear guidelines on unwell children. Educators try to accommodate working parents but some just take them for a ride. The National Health and Medical Research Council has guidelines about the amount of time a child should be off with certain illnesses.
  1. Beware the secondary infection
    I’m not sure whether it was just our first year of care but it seemed like we went through months on end of back-to-back infections. I remember once going to the doctors practically begging her to prescribe something to just stop the colds. She suggested actually taking time off to recover rather than waiting for us all to be 70 per cent and getting back to it. This is pretty tricky when you have a job with a certain amount of annual leave. Creating a larger network that can help you out on emergency days is a great idea.
  1. Keeping life simple
    “Ha”, I hear you say, “I am a parent”. Yes, it’s true if you are working or studying and raising a young family it is often difficult to keep life simple but maybe it’s not just the weekdays also the weekends. Sleep and rest is so important to those little growing bodies so see how busy your weekends are and ensure you are not 100 per cent obsessed with FOMA (Fear of Missing Out) and give yourself a weekend in.

This article was originally posted on Day Care Decisions. Read the original article here.

Rebecca McIntosh

By day Rebecca McIntosh is a childcare blogger and runs Day Care Decisions , a blog that draws inspiration from childcare, early learning, returning to work with two small children and red wine. Rebecca has a Bachelor’s degree in Business, a Master of Digital Media from QUT and further study in Career Development. Rebecca began her career working in a disability advisory service, supporting the development of online training modules for professionals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She expanded on her community development work in Scotland with a focus on youth, coordinating a local government program to engage young people in community partnerships before moving to a European level managing the UK office of a European network, Eurodesk. Rebecca worked in state government before moving to her current position as Career Advisor at the University of Queensland where she has been for the past 7 years.

6 thoughts on “Keeping children healthy this winter”

    Madam says:

    The best way to get through winter is to embrace it. With my new pair of snowshoes.

    Intan says:

    I think the best way is don’t go out 😀

    Katherine says:

    What a great idea!

    Hai Nguyen says:

    My wife and I are looking for child care programs. One of our cousins have asked us to find a good program for their children. My cousin and his wife are working full time, and need to have their children in a child care services.

    Katy says:

    Thanks for the useful tips. In addition to keeping kids warm in winter, there’s really a lot to do with keeping them healthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top