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I am always on the lookout for new tips for keeping kids healthy, especially during the holidays and winter months. I never feel as surrounded by germs as I do in the weeks leading up to Christmas and then all throughout those cold wintry days that follow the holidays. Do you have certain things that you do to keep the kids as protected as possible from the flu and sniffles? I definitely do!
Every year, it seems that we have something BIG coming up around the holidays. It might be a vacation or an event or some sort of activity that one of the kids is performing in. There’s always something that we hope and pray we will all stay healthy enough to attend and enjoy. This also just so happens to be the time of year that the days get impossibly short. The sun is setting before Lily even gets off the bus each afternoon. The winds blow in from the North and we settle in for the inevitably frigid winter months. Germs. are. EVERYWHERE!
This year has been no exception to big exciting happenings and lots of germs everywhere we turn.
Lily was cast in the role of the orphan Molly in a local production of Annie Jr. If you are familiar with the movie and/or musical, the orphans appear in many of the scenes and this role in particular has many lines, thus requiring attendance at numerous rehearsals. Last week, as the performances that she had practiced for since October drew near, Lily came home from school and announced what no mom EVER wants to hear: THE STOMACH BUG HAD HIT HER CLASSROOM. Cue the panicking mother! It was time to put all of those tips for keeping kids healthy into play!
Here are my 5 Quick Tips for Keeping Kids Healthy During the Holidays and Beyond:
1. Hand Washing – Yes, sounds simple. But guess what? IT CERTAINLY DOES WORK! Guess what else? Kids frequently forget to wash their hands. I encourage my kids to remember to wash their hands during the day, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. As soon as they get home from school, I instruct them to wash their hands. Hand washing can dry out skin during winter months, so I recommend having lotion on hand to combat dry skin.
2. Lots of Sleep – This one is probably the hardest for our family. It can be so hard to get the kids down for a decent night’s sleep when holiday events and play practice have us running long after their regular bedtimes. But getting enough sleep is one of the best things that you can do to keep your kids feeling tip top. When we are tired and run-down our bodies are more susceptible to germs and don’t have enough energy to fight them. I do the best we can to ensure the kids get enough sleep during these busy months. Sometimes when a late night is unavoidable, I will let Lily sleep in the next morning, driving her to school instead of catching the bus.
3. Grape Juice – This is an old wives’ tale that I picked up from my sister, but I think there’s merit in it. This one is specifically aimed at the stomach bug (UGH!). After you have been exposed to the stomach bug but before any symptoms arise, drink 100% grape juice, no sugar added, each day! We have done this before vacations and yes, all last week leading up to her performances, and so far, so good!
4. Stay Hydrated – Drink that water! Water does so many amazing things for your body. In the holiday hustle and bustle it can be easy to neglect your water intake. If your kids’ school(s) allow it, send water with each kid every day and encourage them to drink throughout the school day.
5. Limit the Sweets and Fast Food – Christmas cookies and other holiday sweets seem to arrive by the bucket load this time of year. It is also super tempting to hit up that local drive-thru window for dinner when you are running to and from all of these activities. I know that sweet indulgences will certainly happen, and so will some fast food. But I limit the amount of greasy food we eat by packing sandwiches for dinner and tossing them in the car as we head off to wherever we need to be. (Bonus – this not only cuts out friend and greasy food, it also saves a lot of money!)
So there you have it. Those are 5 things that I find myself enforcing this time of year.
Of course, sometimes you can do everything within your power to keep your family germ-free and guess what? Sick still happens. And when you find yourself in one of those “Sick just got real™” situations, you’ll want to have medicine in your cabinet ready and waiting. There is nothing worse than a kid with a fever or cough in the middle of the night and you discover you are out of medication.
Among the children’s medicine that I keep stocked:
- (1) Children’s Advil® Suspension (various flavor) (ages 2-11)
- (1) Children’s Robitussin ® DM Day/Night Pack (ages 6+)
- (1) Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough (ages 6+)
And as for my bright and shining star?
She beat those germs at their own game.
She nailed her performances and absolutely ROCKED the stage.
She was brilliant and cute and funny and reduced Bob and I and her grandparents into sobby-proud-tears.
Pfizer Consumer Health is giving one of our lucky readers a great prize pack containing: (1) $25 virtual visa gift card (can be used for online purchases only) and (1) Children’s Advil® Suspension (various flavor), (1) Children’s Robitussin ® DM Day/Night Pack and (1) Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough! Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.