Preparing Your Family for Winter

Staying healthy has never been more important, regardless of your age, and winter can be a challenging time to promote the health and wellbeing of the entire family. It’s a common fact that winter is cold and flu season, and children are particularly susceptible to illness during the winter.

Luckily, preparing for winter isn’t too difficult, and taking a few proactive steps can effectively protect the health of your family. Here are some helpful tips regarding how to stay healthy in winter.

Dress kids appropriately

While kids are resilient, they need an extra layer of protection against the cold temperatures of winter. As a general rule, dress children in one extra layer of what an adult would wear to stay comfortable. Kids should wear several layers of loose-fitting, light and tightly woven clothing under a heavy jacket when going outdoors. Bare skin should be covered as much as possible, so encourage kids to wear mittens, gloves, a hat, scarf and waterproof boots for full protection from the cold temperatures, wind and precipitation.

Stay active

It’s all too easy and too comfortable for kids to stay inside and spend time in front of screens during the cold winter months. Unfortunately, that’s not healthy. While it may be too cold for kids to take part in outdoor sports, try to keep them active with indoor sports like soccer, volleyball, basketball or even swimming.

Determine whether you should use a humidifier

Many families use humidifiers during the dry winter months to prevent nosebleeds and dry skin. It’s not always wise to keep a humidifier on full time, though. Higher humidity levels can increase the levels of dust mites and mold in a house, which can affect the respiratory health of kids and adults alike. If you have allergy-susceptible family members, it may not be smart to run a humidifier during the winter.

Promote a healthy immune system

Boosting your child’s immune system is an essential step in preparing for winter. The body’s immune system is the first line of defense against the germs you encounter on a daily basis. Improving your child’s immune system is easier than you might think. As an added bonus, these tips work for adults, too. Here’s how to strengthen the immune system for winter:

  • Get enough rest: While adults generally need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, kids need a little more depending on age. Babies to toddlers require between 12 and 18 hours per night. Preschoolers should get between 11 and 13 hours, while kids ages five through 10 should get between 10 and 11 hours per night.
  • Stay hydrated: Water helps the body fight infection and illness, and dehydration increases a person’s chance of getting sick, regardless of age.
  • Eat right: Try to incorporate more immune-boosting foods into your child’s diet, especially foods rich in zinc and vitamin C.

Preparing for winter keeps families healthy during cold and flu season. Learn more about keeping kids safe, happy and healthy all year round by contacting Kids Kingdom Early Learning Center. Reach out today to see how our caring approach to the health and wellbeing of every child positively impacts the health of the whole family.