Did you know that the spread of colds, influenza, and enterovirus are often caused by poor hygiene? Avoiding the flu and practicing good hygiene doesn’t need to be boring. At Rayito, we know it’s important to keep kids engaged when it comes to caring for their minds and their bodies. Here are some fun takes on healthy habits for the whole family!
Wash Your Hands
According to recommendations provided by The World Health Organization (WHO), washing your hands frequently is still the most important factor in avoiding viral infections. Unfortunately, not everyone washes their hands and ever fewer wash their hands properly. Professor Christos Nicolaides tells us that 30% of people do not wash their hands after using the restroom, and “of those that do, only 50% do it right”. So, how do you wash your hands the right way? The answer lies in 5 simple steps.
- Wet your hands
- Apply soap and lather
- Scrub and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse well
- Dry your hands
How to Make it Fun
Let your child teach you Spanish, while you teach them how to wash their hands! Sing a Spanish hand washing song together for at least 20 seconds while you show your child the right way to wash their hands. Make sure you don’t forget about backs of the hands, in between the fingers, and the fingernails! Encourage your child to sing the song to themselves every time they wash their hands to ensure they wash for long enough.
Cover Your Mouth When You Cough or Sneeze
When you cough or sneeze, you spray small liquid droplets from your nose and mouth which may contain virus. Avoid spraying by covering your cough. You can cough/sneeze into your elbow, or a tissue, but never into your hands.
How to Make it Fun
Songs make everything more fun, and they are a great way to learn new skills. Listen and sing along to this song with your child, and practice sneezing or coughing into elbows and tissues! You can even make coughing into your elbow a fun new dance move, and give it a fun name like the “sneeze and snap” or the “cough and cover”.
Eat your fruits and veggies
Preventative care is what it’s all about. Eating healthy is a great way to keep the germs at bay. Make sure your body has the nutrients it needs to stay health by practicing healthy eating habits with your family.
How to Make it Fun:
We make sure your child gets the healthy food they need at Rayito, but it’s important they get healthy food at home too. Family snack time is a great opportunity to bond while instilling healthy eating pattern. If your child isn’t a fan of veggies, sneak them in with delicious smoothies. Check out this article entitled “10 Toddler smoothies with Hidden-Veggies (Big Kids Will Love Too)” and give them a try!
Staying hydrated is an important way to support proper immune system function. Hydration assists in the absorption of nutrients, promotes proper lymph function, and allows the body to flush out harmful toxins. Your child doesn’t need to understand all of the complex functions of water, but they should know how to drink in a day.
As a general rule, here’s how much H2O kids should drink every day:
- Toddlers: 2 to 4 cups
- 4-8 years: 5 cups
- 9 -13 years: 7 to 8 cups
- 14 and up: 8 to 11 cups
How to Make It Fun
Sometimes a little competition can be a good thing. Try a water challenge with your family to see who can hit their daily water goal first. Whoever wins gets to pick out a fun weekend activity for the whole family.
Practice Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleep is important for all healthy functions and setting a regular sleep schedule is key. Children respond well to consistency and routine. This flu season, create a new tradition to connect with your child before bed and encourage healthy sleep.
How to Make It Fun
Reading books together before bed is a great way to create routine and support your child’s literacy, but it’s not the only option for creating a healthy sleep routine. Try stretching with your child before bed, or using a special lotion only used during sleep time to help your child wind down. We recommend this one for its clean ingredients and aromatherapeutic properties.
Wear a Mask
You’ve probably seen people wearing masks in public and wondered what it’s all about. We highly recommend reading this article by The World Health Organization to learn about when, why, and how to use masks. Masks are a great way to prevent the spread of illness from person to person. If someone in your family is sick, it’s important that they wear a mask to keep the germs to themselves. If you are traveling, that’s another great opportunity to wear a mask. But remember, masks only work if they are used in combination with regular hand washing.
Make it Fun
Wearing a mask can feel and look weird. Have fun by using stickers or child-safe markers to decorate your masks. Your child can practice self-expression and healthy habits!
In conclusion, if you or your child does get sick, it’s important that you stay home and continue to practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of illness. Most healthy people do not need to seek medical care for the flu, however if you have any doubt you should contact your health care provider.