Updated: Jan 11
By Jasmine Rivers
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a saying our elders lived by and then taught us. Unfortunately, that apple isn’t nearly enough to ensure we’ll remain healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic, and additional precautions need to be taken. If your little busy bodies are anything like mine, they touch any and everything. Too often they forget to wash their hands after using the bathroom and put their fingers in their mouths after digging and scratching whatever itches.
While children have lower rates of mechanical ventilation and death than adults, 1 in 3 children hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States were admitted to the intensive care unit at the same rate as adults (Center for Disease Control, 2020). Our children’s immune systems are fragile so we need to focus on keeping them in tip top shape. Being quarantined is the perfect time to instill healthy living practices for your children. Here are some measures you can take to keep the germs at bay and sicknesses away.
1. Teach The Basics
I display a bit of OCD when it comes to hand washing, but somehow that trait didn’t find its way to my children. Teach your kids the correct way to wash their hands (hands and wrists fully lathered) while washing between fingers for at least 20 seconds. I make my kids wash their hands randomly throughout the day to prepare them for going back to school.
2. Follow The Leader
Let your children see you wiping down their toys, door handles, bed posts, game systems, remotes, light and lamp switches, and anything else they touch often. If they see you cleaning and disinfecting, they'll follow the leader.
3. Practice Social Distancing At Home
Though we are able to spend time with each other in small groups while quarantined, have your children wear masks and practice social distancing with house gusts. Children are already accustomed to virtual interaction so let’s capitalize on that and make virtual play dates a thing.
4. “Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes...you name it!” -
Shirley Caesar sang about some yummy foods that, when prepared without all the unhealthy fats and additional carbs, provide some amazing health benefits. One of the best way to shield and protect our little one’s immune systems is by feeding them nourishing foods. Try to limit processed carbs and sugary snacks, and keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh fruits and veggies.
5. Drink Up!
Water makes up about 75% of my kids' fluid intake. There’s no specific amount of water they have to drink each day, but when they come to me about being thirsty I scream “water!”( They typically respond with a frown, but if the thirst were real, they’d drink the water.) If juice does make its way through my home’s threshold, it’s 100% fruit juice without high fructose corn syrup.Yes, I do buy them juice from time to time. They have a pretty healthy diet, but they’re kids and they deserve the good stuff sometimes.
6. Make it An Everyday Thing
Get your children in the habit of taking a daily vitamin. There are several brands of vitamins that will provide your little one's bodies with all of the minerals and nutrients that they don’t receive from food. My children usually take L’il Critters vitamins, but when I can’t find that in stores I’ll buy Flinstones Complete with Iron and Vitamin C.
Preventing or fighting off diseases such as Covid-19, the flu or a common cold begins with what you put in your body. Let’s make sure we’re keeping our children safe and healthy during and after quarantine.
Image by Pexels
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