While viral respiratory infections are often harmless and self-resolving, they can cause children to miss school and parents to miss work in order to care for their kids. Plus, they’re downright miserable and frustrating.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take as a parent to reduce your child’s risk of viral respiratory infections so that they don’t have to suffer through another tough bout of the common cold or flu this monsoon season. Here are some tips on how to prevent viral respiratory infections that you can share with your kids so they stay healthy all season long.
Keep Children Away From Others Who Are Sick
Most viral respiratory infections spread from person to person, which means your children can catch a bug from their friends, siblings, or classmates. If a child in your family is sick with something like a cold or flu, limit your kids’ exposure to others by making sure they get plenty of rest and avoid contact with other people (whether at school or out and about) until symptoms are gone.
Stay away from sugar
Kids and sugar often go hand in hand. Sugar makes them hyperactive, cranky, sleepy—you name it! And it’s not just your kids; eating too much sugar can cause a variety of health problems for adults as well. So if you want to prevent viral respiratory infections (VRI) from spreading through your family, skip sweets and sugary beverages. That’s because sugar weakens our immune system. Instead, keep healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables around.
Wash Hands Often With Soap and Water
As simple as it sounds, washing hands with soap and water is by far one of the most effective ways to prevent getting sick. Hands are one of our body’s main ways of transferring germs from person to person, so taking a moment to clean them when we’re in public areas can make a big difference. When you get home, wash your hands before touching your face or eating anything. If you have small children at home, consider buying some hand sanitizer from reputed brands that you can keep around for quick use throughout the day.
Keep surfaces at home clean
In general, surfaces with high touch points like doorknobs, handles and countertops tend to collect germs more than others. In order to help prevent your child from getting sick, it’s a good idea to avoid touching these surfaces if you can and clean them frequently using a disinfectant.
It’s also important to remember that not all disinfectants are created equal; some may be better at killing certain types of germs than others. Consider picking up antibacterial liquids like Dettol or Savlon that are specifically designed for killing viruses (such as cold and flu viruses).
Eat Well & Drink Plenty of Fluids
When you’re ill, your immune system becomes weak. Without a strong immune system, it is easy to fall prey to germs and bacteria floating around you. Make sure that your child eats well and drinks plenty of fluids to keep her body as healthy as possible when there are germs about. Make sure they drink lots of water, have lots of fruit and vegetables, and eat soup…her body has all the nutrients it needs to fight off infection!
Pay Attention to Other Symptoms that May Indicate Viral Respiratory Infection
In addition to mucus and coughing, viral respiratory infections can be characterized by a sore throat, nasal congestion or even ear pain. If your child has any of these symptoms, bring them to a doctor right away. Viral respiratory infections are usually not serious, but it’s always better to be more cautious when it comes to children’s health.
No one wants to see their child coughing and wheezing through another horrible cold. While there’s no foolproof way to avoid every germ under a rainbow, there are steps you can take in order to protect your kids from viral respiratory infections. Keeping these tips in mind may help keep your family healthy during monsoon season.