Healthy Kids Nashville

Germ Warfare: Keeping Kids Safe from Germs

Part of being a kid is experiencing constant exposure to germs. No matter how careful you are, your little one is bound to catch a bug going around school or play group. However, there are plenty of ways to protect your kids from germs and illness. Some of these have become common knowledge, but a few you may not have considered.

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Wash Your Hands

Mom and Grandma taught you this, and they were right. Washing hands is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your kids from illnesses. Teach your children to wash with hot, soapy water for as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song in their heads. This ensures their hands have received proper exposure. If you use liquid soap, teach your child to use only one pump’s worth or less. Avoid scented soaps, since these may contain harsh chemicals.

Cover Your Mouth

Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when they sneeze, but don’t encourage using the hand. This can actually leave a plethora of germs on the palm that adhere to whatever surfaces is touched next. Teach your child to turn his or her head and sneeze into a sleeve or sneeze and cough directly into a tissue.

Wipe Surfaces Down

Most of today’s teachers use antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to combat germs. As noted, this should be supervised at school, but you can and should wipe down germy surfaces yourself at home. Show your child how to gently wipe down counters, tables, and other surfaces. If you must use a public restroom on an outing, cover the toilet seat with paper. Even when you’re out without the kids, wipe down some of the germy surfaces you may use. For example, always clean your machine after you finish at the gym. Run a wipe over restaurant tables.

Eat and Sleep Well

Everyone knows this, but surprisingly few people do it. Make sure your kids are eating balanced meals. Kids can have “dessert days,” but keep the sweets small – a square of dark chocolate or one brownie. Also, ensure everybody gets a decent night’s sleep; rundown bodies are open invitations to germs. Consistent bedtime routines for kids are a big help.

Following these tips can help you fight germs and keep your child healthy.