It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing, school is back in session, and the typical runny nose is bound to make an entrance. There are many reasons why Fall is the time of year that children get sick (classroom germs, rapid change of weather, allergies, etc.,) but there are also many ways that you as a parent can try to prevent it. Here are our tips for preventing sickness in the fall:
A healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supports immune function to help fight off infections. Vitamin A, D, E, C, Folate, Zinc, Selenium and Iron play a key role in keeping your body healthy. Include leafy greens, dark orange foods such as sweet potatoes and carrots, fatty fish (salmon and trout,) lean meats, legumes, fortified milk (cow/soy/almond) nuts and seeds in your weekly meal planning. Think about adding spinach to a smoothie, make a soup loaded with veggies and legumes, snack on bell peppers and hummus or a handful of nuts.
Children and adults alike who do not get enough sleep are more likely to catch a cold or virus. A great way to prevent sickness is by sticking to a sleep routine. Especially for children, when a routine is thrown off, so is their immune system. Try to stick to a specific bedtime. Luckily, this is especially easy to establish in the fall when school is in session.
This should come as no surprise as an important factor when it comes to fighting sickness. When your child is in school, they are exposed to even more germs than they are at home. Make sure your child knows the proper handwashing technique, and encourage them to stay on top of it.
Send hand sanitizer or wipes for them to use before and after lunch.
Get a Flu Shot
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot! Protect your family, and have everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated. Read more about the history of the flu here.
While these tips can not guarantee that your child will not get sick, they will definitely help prevent it. This fall, take all precautions, but if they do end up getting sick, know that pediatric urgent care has extended hours to help get your child healthy again.