Why does my child get sick & how can I help prevent it?
With the cold weather coming, our children are more likely to get sick. No, not because it’s cold, but because when it’s cold people spend more time indoors in closer proximity to each other, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to spread. (In more tropical climates, colds seem to increase in rainy weather, as people, too, spend more time inside.) As more people get sick and more people are closer to each other, still more people get sick, and so on….
The cold and flu are most often spread by our touching someone or something with the cold virus on it and then touching our eyes, mouth or an open wound (from where the virus can get into our bodies) OR from inhaling droplets of the virus put into the air by a sneeze or cough. Some pediatricians believe that it is not uncommon for a child to have six to eight or more upper respiratory tract and two to three gastrointestinal infections each year. However, as children get older, they build up a stronger immunity to these common infections.
So, how do we help to protect our children?
1. Wash hands. Hand washing is perhaps the most effective way to prevent catching someone else’s virus. Teaching your children to wash their hands after using the bathroom, touching someone else, after playing with common toys and particularly before eating will help keep them from getting sick. Also, frequently clean all surfaces.
2. Avoid close contact with other people who are sick. Does your school/day care have a policy for excluding children with contagious illnesses? Usually, most illnesses are contagious for one or two days even before symptoms appear.
3. Don’t share cups or utensils. If your child does get sick, keep her/him home to prevent others from getting sick.
Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics it is dedicated to the health of all children.