8 Fall Health Tips for Kids & Parents
Fall often makes us have to make changes to our routine due to cold weather, holiday planning and winter illnesses. As you prepare to enjoy the change of seasons we want you and your family to be healthy. Here are some tips for kids and parents to stay healthy this season.
Eat healthy, stay healthy.
To have good health children need parents that encourage them to eat the things that they don’t want! That means avoiding packaged processed foods and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin E are all immune boosters found in fresh foods. Fruits and vegetables can also help reduce the risk of diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers. Parents should shop weekly and stock the kitchen with fresh healthy foods and snacks! Check out The Living Root Cellar here.
Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. This means that recess and PE are not enough! Getting active is a great way to spend time together as a family, so make it part of your family’s daily routine. Ride bikes, walk your dog, go for a hike and enjoy. Physical activity can be fun for everyone!
Get the flu shot.
Even if it is not 100% effective, your chances of staying well are better with the vaccine than without it. Since the influenza virus changes every year getting the flu shot should be an annual ritual. Currently, the vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months or older. Last season 172 children died from the flu. Don’t let your child be a statistic, get the flu shot, stay healthy!
Drinking water and staying hydrated is not just for warm weather. Water makes up 60% of who we are! Each cell in our body needs water to work. Water helps us maintain a healthy weight, keeps us hydrated during warm weather, lubricates our joints, promotes digestion and prevents constipation, keeps our kidneys working, helps keep our mood up and prevents headaches naturally. Humidified water can help with nasal congestion, warm baths are soothing, ice helps treat pain and swelling, swimming in water is fun and the sound of water is relaxing. The list goes on and on! Kids should drink mostly water everyday. To keep your kids hydrated have them carry a water bottle with them where ever you go!
Ensuring your kids get good, quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for their health. In children and adolescents, sleep helps promote growth and development. It also supports brain function and physical health. That means a sleep deprived child is more likely to get sick, have trouble learning, do poorly in school and have behavior problems. School aged children need between 8 and 12 yours of sleep per night. So be sure they get their Zzzz’s!
Wash your hands.
Hand washing is the best way to prevent illness and to lower the risk of spreading germs when you’re sick. We all know kids like to touch everything and young kids put everything in their mouth so it is very important to teach children how to properly wash their hands. The “right” way to wash your hands is to wet your hands with soap and water and then scrub for at least 20 seconds. For school aged kids hand sanitizer is an effective alternative when hand washing is not practical. Teach kids to wash their hands and help prevent the spread of germs!
Cover your cough.
Respiratory illnesses like the flu, bronchitis, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and Pertussis (whooping cough) are all spread by coughing, sneezing, or unclean hands. If you cover your cough germs can’t fly into the air and make someone else sick. So if you or your children are out in public coughing or sneezing consider wearing a mask, using tissues, your shirt sleeve or the bend in your elbow to cover your cough. Covering your cough might help prevent those around you from getting sick!
This means driving at safe speeds, buckling up, not driving under the influence and setting your cell phone aside. Buckling up every time you are in the car is the most important thing you can do to keep your kids safe while driving. Currently, California law says that children under two years old should be kept in a rear facing car seat. Children under 8 years old should be in a booster seat in the rear of the vehicle. Studies show that driving at excessive speed contributes to about the same number of fatal traffic collisions as driving under the influence does every year! Driving at the posted speed limit gives you more time to react, gives you more control of your vehicle and usually results in less severe accidents and injuries. Drunk driving, drugged driving and distracted driving all impair your ability to focus and drive safely on the road. So pay attention, buckle up and drive safe!
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