No sooner has summer break ended than another season of fever, chills, sneezing, and coughing has reared its ugly head. Or so it can seem to busy parents trying to usher their children through another dreaded cold and flu season. While your child getting sick is often unavoidable, even for families living in warmer climates, there are practical steps that parents and caregivers can take to help minimize their child’s chances of catching a bad cold or the flu.
First Things First – Colds and Flu are Viruses, Not Bacterial Infections
It may seem like an obvious fact, but it often bears repeating that bacteria causes infections, while colds and the flu result from a virus that is either airborne or transmitted through contact with surfaces exposed to cold and flu germs. Therefore medicating your child for a cold with leftover antibiotics from an earlier case of strep throat will be ineffective at treating a cold or the flu. Medication should always be used strictly for the purposes for which it was prescribed by your child’s pediatrician.
Keep it Clean – Hands, Toys, Hard Surfaces
Cold and flu germs can spread through airborne contact (fun fact: according to a report on CNN, a sick classmate sitting as far as six feet away can spread cold and flu germs through an unguarded cough or sneeze). Secondly, desks at school, gym equipment, or the remote control at home are all prime surfaces for the spread of cold causing germs. Pack plenty of tissues for your children, and remind them to promptly throw them away and wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water as often as possible to prevent from catching – and transmitting – cold season germs to their friends and classmates.
Take a Sick Day
While a perfect attendance award for the school year is a noble accomplishment, sending your child to school while they are sick can cause their friends and classmates to become sick as well, and perhaps even prolong your own child’s recovery time. Taking an appropriate amount of time off from school and extracurricular activities to let your child rest so that the cold can run its course is one of the best ways to keep your child healthy in the long term.
Ensuring that your child has enough healthy fruit and vegetables in their diet will help to boost their immune system.
Contact a Pediatrician in Birmingham, AL
If your child is suffering from a sore throat or other ear, nose, and throat condition, contact a pediatrician at Pediatric ENT Associates at 205-289-7469 to schedule an appointment today.
Next, learn how to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and a Sinusitis.
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