It’s back to school so you know what that means? Back to germs. We have completed just one week of the new school year and already our oldest has a full blown cold, and our little one has the sniffles. After a pretty quiet summer it’s hard enough to get back into the swing of things, so the addition of sickness has caused the condition I like to call whinyitis. (Just call me Doc McStuffins.)
Being sick is no fun for anyone, and while we cannot completely prevent these illnesses, there are a few steps we can take to help fight the common cold. Here are a few tips from yours truly, and Dr. Sara Connolly, FAAP, Bundoo Pediatrician.
6 tips to keep your kids from getting sick!
1. A Good Night Sleep – There is nothing more healing that good restorative sleep. Dr. Connolly says, “Try not to over-schedule your kids, especially as they are readjusting to school after summer.”
2. Healthy Eating – While Dr. Connolly doesn’t recommend immune boosters, she does think a good diet is key to keeping our kids healthy. Things like whole foods instead of processed, less sugar, and more water. I personally love to use elderberry syrup in our girl’s smoothies though to build up their immune system. Here are their favorite smoothie and green juice recipes!
Also, don’t miss my Five Hacks to Stop Your Cold Before it Starts here!
3. Stock Up on Meds – Dr. Connolly says, “Now is a good time to restock common household medications, such as fever reducers (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) and antihistamines (diphenhydramine). They expire just like prescription medications. Take an hour and do an inventory of all the medications you have in your home. Discard expired medications, reorder prescriptions that are nearly empty, and repurchase staple medications such as those for fever and pain so they are accessible when you need them. Place them in key, childproof locations. Consider buying doubles or triples as needed for school, babysitters and grandparent homes. Also, review the dosages that are age appropriate for your children.”
4. Buy Wipes and Sanitizer – “Restock your home, car, and frequently used bags (purses, diaper bags) with wipes and alcohol-free hand sanitizer. Use them frequently. Remember to wash little hands before and immediately after school and always before eating. Hand washing is one of the biggest ways to decrease the transmission of infections at school and home.” We clip hand sanitizers to both of our girl’s backpacks and instruct them to use it at school. And if your child is getting sick frequently, you might want to change them out of their school clothes as soon as they get home, and bathe them right away! This was recommended to us by our pediatrician when our eldest daughter started preschool, it really did help. (PS – Boogie Wipes are the bomb!)
5. Make a Sick Day Plan – In our schools, children must be fever free for 24 hours, so having a backup plan is key if both parents work. Dr. Connolly advises, “Children get sick at the most inopportune time, having a plan in place makes this just a tiny bit easier. Review your pediatrician’s office hours as well as where they want you to go if your child is sick after hours. Likewise, review your school or daycare’s sick policy. Understand that if your child is sent home for illness, they are likely not allowed back the following day.”
6. Vaccinate – I know this is a hot topic and not one I’ve written about, but we do vaccinate. Especially since our youngest had febrile seizures when she contracted the Avian Flu at just 11 months old. (Learn CPR folks!) Dr. Connolly does recommend the flu shot though saying, “We cannot do much about the common cold but we can immunize against the flu. Infants six months and older can be immunized. Children aged two and older can receive the nasal flu spray (Flumist®) Parents and caregivers need their shot too!
Bottom line, kids will get sick when they are with their friends all day at school, it’s a given. But we can take preventative measures to help keep them as healthy as possible. Sneak in those nutrients as best you can, and enjoy their new school adventures! Oh, and parents, you might want to stock up on your own meds, because as you know, when one child gets sick, the rest of the family usually follows.
Thanks to Bundoo as always for their helpful advice! This post contains affiliate links.
For more great parenting hacks, please follow me on Facebook here. And don’t miss these Five Hacks to Stop Your Cold Before it Starts.
And if you want your kids to wake up happy each day, DO THIS!
Janine Huldie says
My girls start on Wednesday and already I am coughing since yesterday now and so not ready for all the illnesses that will probably follow. So thanks for the helpful tips and reminders here.
Nicole Johnson says
The worst is the end of summer cold. Thanks for the great tips!
We got mild colds a few days before school started (thanks to the local bounce house, haha), so this is timely. I’m sure the kids will start bringing home more germs in no time. I’ll use these ideas to give them the boost they need.
I obsess over washing our hands… we do it a million times a day and have seen firsthand that it has stuck with my kids, since my son is now like, “Oh wait.. I need to wash my hands!” I think it makes a huge difference in keeping kids healthy.. and it is so simple.
Sarah @ Life Love & Thyme says
Getting sick sucks! I try to keep probiotics in my 3 yr old since she seems to be the most susceptible (and the one that gives it to me). I have heard of elderberry syrup…I need to look into it more! Thanks!
Great great great tips.
lotsa garlic in their soup. and maybe a touch of oregano oil (kills germs)!!!
Great tips! We’re not in school yet, but we go out a lot around other kids. Thanks for the reminder to vaccinate for the flu. I’m not sure when the new one comes out, but I know I want to get my son there before the new baby comes.
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
Great tips! We have been using probiotics for the past year and have hardly gotten sick at all. I try to get the flu shot as soon as it is available.
A week? That sounds about right! We have had 3 bugs/viruses this year ourselves already! The first one left me scrambling late at night with a trip to the drugstore for fever reliever. It is always better to have a plan and be stocked up!
YES to all of these! Sharing and pinning 🙂
My high schooler has been in school for three weeks but he missed his first day of school today, good old stomach bug came to visit.
Good times for all, the fun never ends. 😉
Herchel A Scruggs says
Ugh my son already has a cold and school only started two weeks ago! I have stocked up on Sambucol and am diffusing thieves :/
Ugh, to the avian flu! Poor baby!
Scarlet started kindergarten last year and got a fever/cold within a week of school. A week! We’ve been on a healthy streak since March and I know it’s about to break.
Your tips are very helpful. We do vaccinate, and I know sleep and diet make a huge difference. I take vitamins and probiotics and lots of hand washing!
When kids go back to school, they are walking into a petri dish of bacteria. Make sure they know about washing their hands and not sharing anything that goes in their mouths.
Im convinced healthy foods are key! Even when it comes to me, when I’m on a health kick, no colds ect, the second I start to slack, full on sickness…
Aubrey @ 53 Weeks says
Sick Day Plan…that is so key, I fear all I ever really have is a winging it sick day plan..no bueno!! I’ve been dealing with sniffles and whinyitis over here too…grr!!
Crystal Renaud says
This is a great list!! A good reminder that I need to grab a few things! And yes- Whole foods & vaccinate! I agree 100 %!!
I hope your girly feels better soon!
Hand washing really is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. It’s amazing how many germs things we touch every day (cell phones, computers, door knobs, faucet handles). And you definitely reminded me that everyone in this house needs to get their flu vaccine!
George Garcia says
This is a very useful one – keeping your child from being sick is one of the parent’s dilemmas. Tips are easy to follow. It is really better to avert to be sick than to look for remedy.