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Sick Kids? How to Help Keep Them Healthy During the Cold and Flu Season
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Tags: sick kids, good hygiene, flu shot

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Children tend to spend most of their time in environments where germs and viruses can thrive. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to keep their kids relatively healthy throughout the cold and flu season. Let's look at what these steps are as well as what to do if your child does get sick this year. 

Preach the Importance of Good Hygiene 
Your kids should know to wash their hands before eating, after using the restroom, or after interacting with surfaces commonly handled by others in public areas. Furthermore, they should be instructed to wash their hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds in order to get the complete benefits of washing. Hand sanitizing products can also be effective if there is no time to find soap and water.

Children Should Never Put Foreign Objects in Their Mouths 
Young children have a propensity to put things in their mouths that don't belong there. This is especially problematic for the younger children, as their immune systems are weaker than those of teens or adults. Therefore, this is a very common and easy way for your son or daughter to get sick. Be sure that you stress that toys or other items are not safe to put into your mouth, and that just because it looks clean does not mean it is free of germs.

Get Your Child a Flu Shot 
A flu shot allows your child to get exposure to a small dose of the flu virus. The body will then create a resistance to it without the need to experience any flu symptoms. While it doesn't guarantee that your son or daughter won't get sick, there is only a small chance of that happening, and even if it does, it reduces both the length and intensity of the symptoms. It takes one week for the immunization to be effective, but after that, your little one can be in a variety of different settings without catching the flu from someone else

See a Doctor if Symptoms Develop 
If you have medical insurance for your child, sick visits may be covered in full under your policy. It may also be possible to go to an urgent care facility to get treatment for your son or daughter if they are expressing concerning symptoms. In fact, an urgent care facility may be more appropriate for treating a fever or a runny nose when it first appears. However, be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with the child's primary care physician if the symptoms get worse or don't go away in a few days. 

The flu is never a fun experience for children. Therefore, it is your job as a parent to make sure that proper measures are taken to protect your child from this often preventable experience. If your child’s immune system is particularly weakened or you have concerns regarding the flu, speak to your primary care physician or nurse to get more detailed, professional information how to protect your child.



By Marlena Stoddard
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

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Biography: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband two kids and puppy Molly Belle.

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