Kids catch everything and get sick so frequently being at daycare, school, the playground, and at friends’ houses. They often have trouble sharing with their friends, but not when it comes to germs and viruses. Then, they take it home to their parents, and everyone is miserable, missing school and work.
How to Ensure a Child’s Health
There are a few daily things parents can do with their children to keep them healthier that cost nothing but a little extra time and effort. Eventually, that time and effort will turn into healthy habits that children will carry with them into adulthood.
Hygiene and Hand Washing
Kids get dirty, and they should because it means they’re having fun and being active. However, it’s also good to clean up when the fun is over. Regular bathing and hand washing to keep the germs, bacteria and viruses picked up during the day are essential to good hygiene and health, particularly before eating as dirty hands put dirty food into the mouth.
“Get Your Fingers Out of Your Mouth!”
Speaking of dirty hands in the mouth, many kids are in the habit of sucking their thumbs, picking their noses, mouthing toys and other objects (when it’s no longer age appropriate), rubbing their eyes and sticking their fingers into their ears. These habits insert viruses, bacteria and germs into the body, increasing the risk of illness. Breaking these habits makes for healthier children.
Drink More Water
Too many kids drink a lot of juice and milk and not enough water. Juice is packed with sugar, and milk doesn’t satisfy thirst or prevent dehydration. If more children drank their daily recommended amount of water, even mildly flavored water, they would be healthier as dehydration can cause a weaker immune system, fatigue, irritability, increased asthma symptoms, headaches and allergies.
Cutting sugar out entirely is a bit rash, but limiting sugary snacks helps children stay healthy. Sugar can contribute to obese, irritable, hyperactive children and can make it harder to recover from an illness. A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins and fats from meat and dairy will help children maintain strong, healthy bodies.
Exercise in the Fresh Air
Plants need sunshine and fresh air to grow, and so do people. Sunshine is the best source for Vitamin D, a nutrient many people are horribly deficient in. Additionally, air quality inside is often much worse than the air quality outside; this often exacerbates allergies and asthma, unless the pollen count is high. Exercise outside is more beneficial than a few hours playing Wii Sports or hitting the gym.