Parents can go organic, Lysol every counter space, and take kids to their pediatrician religiously, but if the kids continue to get the sniffles every other week, perhaps their good hygiene habits need some polishing.
When coughing, kids should be taught to cover their mouth and nose with a sleeve or a tissue, but never with their hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually recommend teaching kids to cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbows. Hands typically end up everywhere, which means germs do as well.
Explaining the importance of keeping hands away from the face to kids who may be prone to sticking fingers in their mouth is also a good way to keep them from swallowing bugs. Any facial orifice should be off limits to little fingers, if hands have not been washed.
The development of hand washing habits is more effective sooner rather than later. The minute most kids get home from school they race for the fridge for a snack without thinking about all the viruses that may be in the palms of their hands. Kids can be directed to make a beeline for the bathroom sink as soon as they bound in instead. The general rule for hand washing is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing with soap and warm water (a total of about 20 seconds).
Parents can also demonstrate the importance of keeping jackets and shoes off beds and couches. When kids arrive home from school, they may throw their belongings all over the furniture, but jackets and backpacks harbor quite a few germs. Parents can help kids find a designated area where they can store their belongings and keep them off the bedspreads.
Do your children have good hygiene habits?
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