Keeping Your Kids Healthy During Winter

Winter.

It’s the season for hot chocolates, evenings by a cozy fire, thick snuggly sweaters and of course those unwelcome cooties.

If you’re a Mom like me you probably spend a lot of time thinking about the health and well being of your little one. My daughter luckily has only had one battle with a bug, knock on wood, and I’m so grateful for that!

So, what do you do to help protect yourself and those sweet little ones from an unwanted illness?

Here are some tips and tricks to try whether they’re yours or those precious nanny family kiddos!

Hand Washing:

I know this is a DUH statement, but it is OH so important!

And as well as know sometimes getting kids into hand washing can seem like a daunting task.

  • Have them sing Happy Birthday -- twice -- while they wash
  • Use a kitchen timer or an hourglass to make it fun and accurate
  • Ask them to count to 10 slowly or 20 at a normal pace
  • Let them pick out a hand soap they’re excited about using. The fact that it’s something they got to pick on their own will make it fun for them- especially if it’s a cool scent they enjoy.
  • For younger children, make sure they have a stool to use to make getting to the sink easier.
  • Look for foam versions, kids usually love these

Hand Sanitizers and Essential Oils:

I like to carry around a travel size “hand sanitizer” to use on shopping carts. Sounds weird but I use a good spray of it on a diaper wipe to clean the handles and anything else my little one can stick her hands on. I’m not a germaphobe but those things are a theme park for bugs- so I’m always sure to wipe them clean. There are so many different types to pick from you can even use some of the tips for hand soap and apply them towards hand sanitizer purchases. If your little one is into Frozen or maybe they love the smell of cupcakes- there without a doubt is a fragrance or bottle to match that! Or if you’re like me and into a more natural alternative- then Thieves is an excellent route to take.

Thieve’s is an essential oil blend of lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, and rosemary and is a popular choice among essential oil lovers. It’s highly recommend for colds AND flu symptoms because of its anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, anti-viral and antiseptic properties and is known to aid in eliminating symptoms from colds and flu quickly.

Diffusers and Oil’s:

I absolutely love my essential oil diffuser! Every morning I take a few drops of whatever oil I feel would be good to start the day with. This time of year I really enjoy using a citrus and chamomile blend in the mornings, lemon and tangerine are phenomenal. I feel like the citrus wakes you up and make’s you feel refreshed! Lemon essential oil is also a great decongestant and is a well know antiviral agent. Chamomile is gentle and soothing, also great to use if you’ve already come down with an illness because it’s great for aches and pains. I love it because you can even apply a few drops to a warm compress (as directed).

Lavender already has a great reputation because of its flowery, relaxing scent. It’s fabulous for this time of year because of its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s perfect for a neck and shoulder rub to relax tense muscles and ease headaches brought on by stress or colds. You can also place a few drops on your pillow or a cotton ball and place under your pillow to get a better nights sleep. You can also use a carrier oil and create your own decongestant rub. Those are just a few highlights on lavender- there are many other great ways to use this oil!

Eucalyptus is another wonderful oil. It’s your respiratory systems best friend during colds and flu. You can use a few drops in your diffuser to ease breathing through a stuffy nose. Its also perfect for creating your own soothing rub by using a carrier oil.

Besides using essential oils and making sure you keep little hands clean, it’s important to remember that it’s not just what we put on our bodies that has an impact on our health; but what we put into it as well.

I buy a special Vitamin C for my daughter made specifically for little ones under a year of age. I give her the prescribed amount daily to give her immune system that extra boost to ward off germs. I supplement myself daily with Vitamin C, Zinc and B12.

Another lesser know fact is that staying active is actually really beneficial to your immune system.  You don’t need to run a marathon every day either, moderate exercise for just 20 minutes a day is all you need to help keep yourself healthy and guarded against illness this season.

And last but not least, rest!

There are plenty of studies that show how not getting enough sleep each night can seriously effect your overall health and well being.

So, pour yourself a hot cup of chamomile tea, diffuse some lavender- don’t stress (that’s no good for your immune system either!) and get yourself a good nights sleep J Self care is so important for keeping your spirits up and maintaining a strong body. In order to take good care of others we have to remember to take good care of ourselves, too!