Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Guest Post: All-Natural Cold-busting for Kids

All-Natural Ways to Keep Kids’ Colds at Bay During Winter

5 flu-fighting, cold-blasting habits that you can adopt as a family

By: Bernice Spradlin

The height of cold and flu season is upon us. And as most parents of young kids are, you're dreading the winter cold that can pass through your family faster than the speed of light. Unfortunately, children tend to get sick a lot more than adults due to immune systems faced with an ongoing onslaught of germs at school, daycare, on play dates, etc. And over-the-counter drug store remedies, like Cold FX, might help—but they can get pretty expensive even if you’re buying discount Canadian drugs online. However, if you implement a few of the following XX healthy habits in your home, you can help strengthen your kids’ immune systems against battling colds and flu this winter.

1. Make hygiene a habit

The majority of cold and flu viruses are spread via hand contact. And with kids that means they have hundreds of more hands to come into contact with at school, daycare, during play time. Ask yourself how many times a day your kids wash their hands? How about if they accidentally sneeze into those hands? This is how germs and flu bugs move from person to person. So making kids wash their hands every time they sneeze, use a tissue or touch their mouths is vital if they have the sniffles. If you’re on the go, keep a bottle of alcohol-based sanitizing gel or some sanitizing wipes in your purse and use them as your backup. In addition, if members of your family do get the flu, throw out their toothbrushes right away to avoid re-infection and transferred germs.

2. Get colourful with meals

Carrots, broccoli, oranges, blueberries, strawberries…not only are they all rich in immune-boosting vitamin C—they also add some colour to your dinner table and five servings of fruits and veggies a day will boost the immune system’s defences against cold and flu.

3. Schedule adequate time for rest

When you get run down—you almost always get sick! And doctors will back me up when I say that lack of sleep leaves you and your kids more susceptible to colds and flu.  Kids require the following amount of sleep:

  • Growing babies should sleep 18 hours a day
  • Active toddlers need at least 12 hours of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs
  • Playful preschoolers require a good 10 hours of snoozing

Of course you can break that time up into mid-day naps if they don’t sleep through the night.

4. Grab a yogurt

Studies show that kids (and adults too) benefit a daily cup of yogurt because the beneficial bacteria it contains will actually boost your immune system and will reduce your risk of flu infection by 25%.

5. Get some exercise as a family

Medical professionals tell us to exercise because it keeps weight down, lowers depression and stress, heightens energy, strengthens immunity and increases illness-fighting cells in our bodies…even in little bodies. The best way to keep your kids active is by exercising as a family—your kids might actually teach you something about the importance of getting outside to enjoy life. So get together for bi-weekly tobogganing, skating, snow showing, winter hikes, and doggy walks.

Bernice Spradlin
Bernice Spradlin is an avid hiker and runner. She works at a gym in Brooklyn, New York, where she gets great inspiration for her freelance health-related articles and blogs. In her off time, you can often find Bernice jogging the East River path along the waterfront and enjoying the cool breeze. She also writes for her personal blog Happy 4 Health . 

1 comment:

  1. Yay!!!!

    I hate pumping kids full of pills and antibiotics. (I'm an herbal tea and natural remedies person myself.)

    These are simple ways to keep kids healthy but they really work!!!! Sleep, good food, exercise, hygiene (who'd have thought.)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.