While winter is winding down in Raleigh, it seems like everyone is still sniffling and sneezing everywhere we go. If you are done with wiping noses and running to the store for Pedialyte, we’re sharing some doctor-approved tips to keep you and your preschooler healthy as cold and flu season winds down.
Make Hand Washing a Priority
At our Raleigh child care center, we spend a lot of time washing hands – after using the restroom, playing outside, before eating – we go through a lot of soap and paper towels! However, there’s nothing that keeps germs away like good soap and water.
To really be effective against germs, make sure your preschooler is:
- Washing thoroughly – scrubbing between fingers, under nails, and getting the backs of their hands,
- Washing for a long enough time – sing the ABCs with them as they wash!
- Washing frequently – in addition to washing up before eating and after using the restroom, make sure they wash hands when they get in from school, from playing outside, and after sneezing or coughing if they aren’t using their elbow.
Stay Active Inside and Outside
Exercise can provide an incredible boost to the immune system, and only 20 minutes of moderate activity each day is effective. On dry days, get the family outside and go for a walk, go to the park, and make sure to get fresh air. If you’re stuck inside, put on some music and have a dance party to get moving.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Preschoolers should get around 10 to 13 hours of sleep each night – closer to 10 if they are still napping during the day. If they’re not getting good sleep or not getting enough of it, they’re immune systems suffer, and they are more likely to catch colds, flu, and bugs going around.
Focus on Healthy, Balanced Meals
We know you know the importance of your preschooler eating lots of fruits and vegetables During cold and flu season, it’s even more important to get good nutrition, especially foods high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and iron. These vitamins will boost immune health and make it easier for them to fight getting sick.
Not sure where to start or you’ve got a picky eater? A smoothie with Greek yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, and a handful of fresh spinach hiding inside can give a great boost of nutrients and vitamins, and your kids will think it’s a treat!
Disinfect Common Areas
At our Raleigh child care center, we are constantly fighting the battle of germs, especially during cold and flu season where viruses can survive for up to eight hours. Instead of trying to keep everything disinfected and sterile at all times, focus on regularly sanitizing the germ hot spots, including:
- Light switches
- Remote controls
- Computer or laptop keyboards
- Refrigerator and cabinet handles
- Toy bins (spray with disinfectant if you can’t wipe down individual toys!)
Not All Sharing is Good
While we love to encourage sharing at our Raleigh preschool, we know that sharing some items leads to sharing germs. Of course, cups, straws, and snacks are common ways to spread illness, but even items like hats, scarves, and headphones can transmit illness.
Keep Hands and Items Away From Faces
We know it’s hard to keep preschoolers and toddlers from rubbing their eyes, chewing their nails, and even picking their noses. However, the more we can teach kids to keep their hands (and toys, pencils, crayons, and other objects!) away from their eyes, nose, and mouth, the better chance they have of staying healthy!
Schedule a Tour with Our Raleigh Child Care Center
At Primary Beginnings, we work hard to teach kids how to stay healthy, even during cold and flu season. Learn more about our 5 star child care center in Raleigh by scheduling a tour by calling our North Hills Drive location at 919-785-0303 or our Spring Forest Location at 919-790-6888.