How can parents protect themselves from catching their kids bugs

The common cold is just that extremely common!  Kids can get 8-10 colds a year.  As the school year settles in and the weather changes kids spend more time indoors.  Sharing small spaces, markers, colors, and pens increases the likelihood our kids will get sick.  While colds are more common in the winter and spring they can occur any time throughout the year.

 

While it may seem inevitable, there are some things we can do to decrease the likelihood everyone else in the family will get sick.  When there is a sick child in the home it is very important for everyone to wash their hands.  Use soap and water and scrub for twenty seconds.  You can help young kids by signing a song such as "Happy Birthday" while they wash.  If soap and water aren't available use hand sanitizer.

 

Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.  Viruses enter our bodies through the mucus membranes in the nose, mouth, and eyes.

 

Make sure your child covers their cough or sneeze.  Show them how to cough into their elbow or use a tissue when they cough.  Place travel size tissues throughout the house.  Move trash cans to convenient locations so your kids are more likely to toss the tissue in the trash can.

 

Design a "special space" for your sick child to hang out.  One that is out of high traffic areas like the kitchen.  Older kids should try to do homework in more isolated areas like their bedrooms instead of the kitchen table.  Disinfect areas frequently.  Viruses can lives on surfaces for hours and even days.  If a child has a severe illness such as the flu or GI illness designate one person to be the go to for the child while they are ill.

 

Consider using disposable cups, plates, and utensils while they are sick.  Write your child's name on the cup so others are less likely to share their food.

 

Be especially cautious if there is an infant in the home.  A common cold in an older child or adult can become a severe illness in an infant.

 

What you can do to prevent getting sick

Wash hands frequently

Try not to touch your face

Hand sanitizer

Tissues and trash cans easily accessible Disinfect counters frequently

What your child can do

 

Wash their hands

Cover their coughs

Use disposable cups/plates

Limit time in high traffic areas/kitchen