As adults we understand how to reduce our risk of catching a pesky cold, we wrap up warm, make sure we wash our hands, supplement our diets with extra vitamin C and act quickly when we feel a tickle in our throats or the early signs of a stuffy nose.
Unfortunately noticing the early signs of a cold or how to avoid one completely does not come naturally to our children. Kids share and spread a lot of germs and will on average get between 6 and 12 colds every year – that can lead to missing school and grumpy kids! By teaching our children as early as possible the habits to help avoid colds you can minimise their risk of getting ill.
Prepare your kids with these easy steps and help keep them healthy and happy all winter:
Hand to hand contact is one of the most common ways colds can spread. Help your child by demonstrating the best way to wash their hands. They should lather up with soap and warm water and scrub their hands for the time it takes to sing our ‘Wash your Hands’! Make sure they dry their hands before going back outside.
Our mascot Healthy Harold has some great tips to make hand washing a game, why don’t you watch this together as a family.
Tissues, tissues, tissues
If your child is looking a bit sniffly, arm them with a pack of tissues in their pockets and in their school bag. Show your kids how to catch their sneezes and runny noses in a tissue. Immediately after they have used the tissue tell them to throw it in the bin (definitely not look at it!). Then back to stage one – wash their hands.
Catching that cough
A cough can produce a lot of germs! In order to reduce the potential spread of these germs, make sure your child learns to cover their mouth when they a cough (and then wash their hands). Some people also suggest coughing into the crook of their arm – it’s up to you.
Of course, avoiding a cold completely is very difficult – if you child does contract a cold, don’t worry! Visit your local pharmacy for some advice and keep your child away from school for the first few days – the most contagious and make sure they drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Our junior primary modules help to reinforce messages around hygiene. Find out more about our program and how it can benefit your child's school.