With cold and flu season here, we do everything we can to keep our little ones from picking up these things at school. While we can help them to an extent, it is important to help them start learning their own healthy habits as well. Here are the top 5 habits that pediatricians recommend.
1. Give the hands a good scrub. Hand washing tops the list of healthy habits children should learn for one simple reason, doing it often and doing it right, can reduce the number of colds, flu, and other infections children get by 50 percent!
2. Sneeze Sleeve. When your kid feels an “achoo” coming on and there’s no tissue in sight, show him how to let loose into the inside of his elbow, rather than into his hand or the air this way germs won’t wind up on his fingers or spewed out into the air. This helps cut down the germ transfer by 80%! This same method goes for coughing also.
3. Tossing The Tissues. Once your child has mastered the fine art of nose-blowing, get her into the habit of disposing of dirty tissues right away, rather than leaving them lying around on a table or the floor.
4. It’s Ok Not To Share. Explain to your child that while it’s nice to let pals play with toys, there are things he should keep to himself such as combs, brushes, and hats (sharing these items is the number-one way lice spread from kid to kid); toothbrushes; cups, forks, and drinking straws; whistles, horns, and other objects you put your mouth on (good luck with that one!); and, of course, tissues.
5. Potty Talk. While it’s tempting for a child (particularly a toddler who’s in the middle of toilet training) to want to watch the precious products of her efforts swirl away, it’s not such a great idea to encourage her to do this. With every flush, droplets of water containing minute particles of whatever was just deposited (yes, that means pee, poop, or vomit) spew into the air. So if you want your children to pick up this particular healthy habit, show them how to put down the lid.