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How to keep your kids healthy this winter

How to keep your kids healthy this winter

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While colds and flu may seem inevitable in winter, keeping your kids well is possible with these easy steps.

The winter months can often feel like the season of revolving illnesses when you have children. Someone in the house always has a cough, a cold, a runny nose or if you are really lucky a chest, ear or throat infection!

While there is a certain element of coughs, colds and even flus being a fact of winter life, there are simple things you can do to keep your kids as healthy as possible.

WATCH: How to stay healthy this winter

One of the most effective ways to keep sickness at bay is to teach your children to wash their hands properly (and practice what you preach.) One of the reasons hand washing stations are liberally dotted throughout medical centres, hospitals and child care centres is hand washing is one of the best defences against illness.

Hand washing 101: How to get it right

  • Lather your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, making sure to include the backs of your hands and in between your fingers and under the nails. Keep this up for a good twenty seconds, then rinse and dry them with a clean towel or air dryer
  • Stash a bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag for when you’re out and about – you’d be surprised (or perhaps not), at how often you’ll need it
  • Hands should be washed before, during, and after preparing food, and before eating
  • They should also be washed before and after caring for someone who is sick (of if your child interacts with someone that is unwell), after handling rubbish, after using the toilet, or changing a nappy or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Naturally hand washing is a must after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste or their food or treats
As well as encouraging proper hand washing techniques, discourage your children from touching their eyes and noses – it’s a great way to spread germs and deliver them straight into their system.

Ensuring they get adequate rest is another great way to keep your kids well in winter – people are more vulnerable to germs and take longer to recover when they are run down and tired.

Plenty of fresh air an exercise will help them get this sleep and keep their immune system thriving as a bonus.

And last but not least, ensuring they consume a healthy diet with a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, dairy, lean meats, eggs and wholegrains is vital – as well as plenty of water throughout the day.

READ MORE: What to eat to help beat back a cold this winter

If you struggle to keep them eating their five and two, it might be time to get creative; homemade juices, smoothies and soups are all good ways to up their intake, and you can add immune boosting ingredients like garlic and ginger to the mix. A quality multivitamin is also a good back up if you’re concerned about their dietary intake.   

How do you keep your kids healthy in winter?