Don't let the sniffles get in the way!
It happens….you are rushing around trying to get your child’s dinner ready while he is playing with some colored blocks on the floor as you hear a “cough, cough.” You stop what you are doing and think to yourself, “Oh no, is he getting sick.” You come over to your kid and check his temperature with the back of your hand on his forehead. Everything seems fine, but deep down you are concerned. “What if he gets sick.” “What am I going to do?” “Should I take him to the doctor just in case?”
The thought of your little one getting sick can be scary but if you have some key preventative strategies it can help to minimize the chances of your child catching a cold.
Key Signs to Look Out For
• Lack of appetite
• No interest playing
• Child seems more clingy than usual
• Child is lethargic
• Signs of serious illness: dehydration, trouble breathing, high fever
Here are our top 5 natural ways to prevent a cold.
1) Beat the sweets
Sweets can be hard to get away from. Sugar can be very sneaky, as it finds it’s way into your child’s snacks, sauces, and treats. But white sugar can cause our immune systems to weaken. The more sugar we consume the less our immune system is able to fight off any infections that might be on the horizon.
So one of the best things you can do as a parent is to minimize your child’s intake of refined sugar. Consider a whole foods diet filled with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains.
2) Boost your immune system (vitamin C)
One of the best ways to boost your child’s immune system is to have them consume foods high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the immune system as it boosts our body’s natural defense to any unwanted visitors!
Foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, strawberries, spinach and kale. Ensuring your child receives their daily intake of Vitamin C is important to maintaining a strong immune system!
3) Get some sunshine
Soak up the sun! When exposed to the sun our skin will create Vitamin D. However, as the colder months come along we tend not to get as much sunlight. Therefore, taking a Vitamin D supplement is essential. Vitamin D is important to prevent a common cold as it works to boost the natural processes of the immune system. This will ultimately help the body to deal with any exposure to infections.
4) Get your zzz's
Sleep is important as it allows the body to rest and recover. During our sleep, our bodies work hard to regenerate and get ready for the next day ahead. Studies have also shown not enough sleep or lack of quality sleep can increase your chances of getting sick if you are exposed to a virus.
Having a routine can be a step towards your child getting a good night sleep. Have dinner, take a bath, read a book and tuck them in. Ensuring they go to sleep at the same time each night will reinforce a routine.
5) Get moving!
One of the best ways to prevent an infection is to participate in regular exercise. Exercise can help to flush out any bacteria in the lungs or airways reducing your child’s chance of getting sick. Exercise also may increase the body’s White Blood Cells (WBC). WBCs are kind of like a personal security guard. They watch out for any invaders and bring in more personnel to help in an attack!
Great way to start moving is to go on walks, ride a bike, go swimming or playing a sport like soccer, basketball and hockey!
Immunity, Exercise. "Exercise And Immunity: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia". Medlineplus.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"Lack Of Sleep: Can It Make You Sick? - Mayo Clinic". Mayoclinic.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
About the author: