The Preschool Plague Survival Tips
Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
Photography by Photographed by James Kicinski-McCoy
While calling it the “preschool plague” may seem a little dramatic, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate title. You know what we’re talking about—you send your toddler off to school for the first time and within a couple weeks, the whole family is hit with the worst cold you’ve seen in months. Not only that, once every one in the house seems like they’re on the mend, your new student brings home yet another bug that’s ready to knock everyone on their feet. Sadly, this is the story told by mothers everywhere time and again.
But, why is this happening? You patrol hand washing. You cook healthy meals. You keep a tidy house. You might even have the whole family supplementing, but the truth is, your child’s immune system is just not used to being around that many germ-carrying kids at once, so no gummy vitamin is going to save the day. That’s why we decided to talk about this issue and include some sanity-saving tips to help you prepare (and try to stay clear of) the preschool plague.
Wash Up. It’s a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people and kids DON’T wash their hands, even after using the restroom. For those kids who do wash hands, they could still be doing it incorrectly. Make sure to teach proper hand washing and check each tiny hand after every potty break and before every snack and meal.
H20 and Sleep. This is another well-known tip, but if you’re not staying on top of your child’s sleep schedule and water intake, they could be losing a good amount of both. Sneak hydration in with water-packed foods and snacks like fruit and juices. Giving kids a warm bath before bed can encourage a better, longer sleep. TIP: Add lavender oil to bath water or diffuse in your child’s bedroom for an even more sleep-encouraging night’s rest.
Teach Healthy Habits. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. Blow your nose into a tissue. Wash your hands. Don’t share drinks or food. Don’t touch others when sick. These essential tips are all things that your kiddo needs to learn to keep germs from spreading and infecting others. TIP: Teach your kid to sneeze in their inner elbow instead of their hand. It lets less germs escape and keeps hands clean.
Essential Oils. Believe it or not, the same oil you use to freshen the house can also keep illness at bay. Peppermint oil can reduce and prevent a fever, cold, and cough. Lemon oil can reduce the severity of a virus due to its ability to boost the immune system. Tea Tree oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Oregano oil is also a powerful oil that helps fight off infection fast. Use accordingly to the brand’s directions, some brands can be used both internally and externally.
Rid The Body Of Germs. When the kids get home, have them immediately strip their clothes and take a quick bath to wash off any potential germs and viruses. Throw clothes into the wash or hamper to be sanitized. As a bonus, this prepares children for bed ahead of time!
Supplement. If you’re already on the vitamin train—great, but adding a few extra ones in can drastically help battle colds. Give your kiddos extra Vitamin D, Echinacea, Vitamin C, Fish Oil, and SilverSol to help strengthen their tiny immune systems.
Powerful Probiotics. Friendly bacteria can maintain a healthy digestive system, while also supporting the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Get the little ones started on a kid-friendly probiotic or sneak some in through some tasty yogurt.
Disinfect. You might run a clean house, but germs can be hiding everywhere. Sanitize things you normally wouldn’t consider—toys, backpacks, remote controls, doorknobs, couch arms, and other commonly used items.
Cook Wisely. Foods that are high in fat and sugar can actually suppress the immune system. A well-balanced diet will help your tot stay healthy, so stock up on nutritious items for lunch boxes and meals, especially those high in Vitamin C and D.
Fresh Air. Believe it or not, letting fresh air in the house can truly help rid a cold by moving out the germs. Open up those windows and doors during the day as often as you can.
Hand Sanitizer. Keeping hands clean is the best line of defense, but it can be impossible to do so while on the go. Buy some kid-friendly hand sanitizer for your child to take to school, and teach them how and when to use it.
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