12 October 2018
The busy parent’s guide to keeping your child healthy all year round
Being poorly is a part of growing up but no parent wants to see their child come down with a bug or a cold. We all want to help our children to stay as healthy as possible, but chasing around after them with sanitiser gel is neither practical or particularly effective.
As children play, learn and grow it is inevitable that they will come into contact with germs and illnesses that get transferred between them (and you!), by introducing a few easy tips and tricks even the busiest family can become more conscious of staying healthy and help strengthen those immune systems!
Start the day right
The body needs fuel to stay healthy and a hearty breakfast will keep energy levels high and set everyone up for the day ahead.
Try preparing or planning breakfast at the start of each week and set out your bowls and utensils the night before to save time in the morning.
Overnight oats, chopped fruit (with raw honey and natural yoghurt) and smoothies with wholemeal toast can all be prepared in advance. We found some really tasty recipe ideas on the NHS website.
Busy kids and adults often forget to keep their hydration levels up. Water helps to flush toxins away and boost immunity. It can also help prevent unhealthy snacking as dehydration can be mistaken for hunger.
Make sure your family has a jug of water on the table at every meal time and get your children to choose a new water bottle that they can carry with them or take to school or nursery. Encourage them to take regular sips and set a challenge to drink it all each day – you could even reward them with stickers to keep them motivated.
Get those Z’s in
Sleep can be the bane of a parent’s life, and bedtimes are often a challenge. But sleep is how our body repairs and relaxes so getting the right amount every night is so important. A rested body is a healthy one.
If bedtimes are a chore, try to start the wind down a good hour beforehand (where possible), avoid stimulating games or screen time. Stop sugary snacks close to bedtime too – they can cause a spike in energy when you least want it.
Try low lighting in the bedroom – it has been suggested that red, blue, yellow or orange light can help to promote sleep. Similarly, black out blinds can help to keep out natural light when needed.
Enjoy a calm story before bed and try to make the end of the day as relaxing as possible – this will help everyone settle into a nice, long sleep.
Good hygiene habits
Children are notorious for putting their little hands where they shouldn’t be – and usually straight into their mouths afterwards – which is often how germs can spread.
Introducing good hygiene habits from an early age, and making them a fun part of everyday life will help everyone to remain mindful. Let the kids choose a cool hand soap for the bathroom and perhaps even their own hand towel – make hand washing a fun part of every bathroom visit, after they play outdoors and before meal times.
Encourage the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ mantra but make it fun, not another boring rule that has to be followed!
Illness will happen, which can help to strengthen your family’s immunity over time. But there’s no harm in preparing for those times when your tribe are under the weather.
Our partners St John Ambulance have lots of helpful first aid advice for parents on their website. This can help you spot signs of more serious conditions, and explain what action to take.
You can also invest in an accurate and easy to use thermometer for the family medicine cabinet. Kinetik thermometers offer either an inner ear or non-contact function. Both types are simple to use for the whole family.
Visit our online Thermometer shop to find the right thermometer for your family.
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