We all know that sick children are not happy children. Did you know that on average, children under the age of 3 catch nearly six to eight colds per year? Once the cooler weather sets in, it seems as though the entire neighborhood's children begin getting the cold and flu. That's why it's so important to pay attention to building immunity in kids and naturally preventing colds in kids. Usually, little children are not extremely concerned about having a sore throat or runny nose, which ends up as having the viruses all over their hands, clothing and belongings – where they can live for up to 30 minutes. Ever wonder how one kid catches a common cold, and by evening, all the kids around the block are down with symptoms as well? When another child interacts with the infected child or touches infected objects and then rubs their eyes or nose, the child can catch the cold.
Oddly enough, it's been found that getting a lot of colds and flus early on in life can protect children later on. Researchers have discovered that children who frequently develop colds in preschool are likely to catch fewer colds during their school years. This is presumably because their immune systems have learned how to recognize and ward off viruses. One German study discovered that babies who catch more than one cold before their first birthday have less chances of developing asthma by the age of seven.
Nevertheless, you don't want to allow your child to become a magnet for cold and flu. Read on to find out how to implement some natural cold prevention treatments and home remedies for the common cold.
1. Hand-in-Hand with Hygiene
This is basic hygiene that must be inculcated into children. Getting the virus on one's hands and then rubbing the eyes or nose is the easiest way to catch a cold. Hand washing is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent not only colds but also most germs and viruses. The key is to remember to wash the hands for at least 30 seconds. Have them wash their hands for two rounds of "Happy Birthday" while getting their hands nice and soapy!
2. Cover Up (the Mouths and Noses)
When we cough or sneeze, millions of germs are expelled into the air. While cold viruses do not spread as easily through the air as they do through hand and face contact (unless someone coughs or sneezes right onto your face) it's still a protective and polite way to prevent contain a cough or sneeze behind a hand or tissue.
3. Keep a Sanitizer Around
Using a hand sanitizer with natural ingredients like anti-bacterial essential oils is what will be just as effective. A research study discovered that schools that used hand sanitizers had 50% fewer absences than schools who did not use them.
4. Get Out and About
Exercising outdoors exposes children to sunlight. This is especially crucial during the winter months, the height of the cold and flu season, in order to have optimum physical and mental health. As little as 20 minutes a day can lead to a huge difference in increasing energy levels and getting ready for the winter blues ahead. Exposure to sunlight will also increase vitamin D production. Just remember to apply sunscreen to your children before going outside.
5. Sleepy Time
Sleep deprivation limits the child's body to produce white blood cells which help fight off diseases. Ensure that your little one gets a good amount of sleep. Babies need at least 14 hours and toddlers need about 13 hours. School-aged children should get at least 9-13 hours of sleep each night.