Top tips to keep your child healthy during an outbreak!

Right now we are in some crazy times with illnesses, flu season, and viruses spreading, and kids just don’t always get how to stay healthy during an outbreak. 

Have you ever tried to keep your child’s hands out of their face? Or their hands out of anyone else’s face for that matter? If you’ve ever tried and failed to keep your child healthy during an outbreak – I feel you! It’s not easy!

It’s nearly impossible, yet with flu season still alive and a new virus looming and popping up in our state I’m making an effort. Between all of the media updates and warnings at work I know I HAVE to do something – even if it’s just to get my son in the habit of staying conscious of his hands, washing more often, and being careful. I still have to go on about my normal schedule, I’m just paying a little more attention to what’s going on.

The best way to prevent yourself and your children from getting infected and to keep your child healthy during an outbreak is to avoid being exposed to the virus or illness.

How to protect your children:

Wash their hands with soap and water – OFTEN is the first step for protecting your child!

While they are washing, wash for at least 20 seconds, I like to have my son sing a song to distract him and it helps him to know how much longer he has. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star works great and doesn’t get easily stuck in my head.

If you don’t have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer – I like this for while we’re out and one of the boys sneezes or coughs, or touches something sketchy.

It’s easier than constantly running to the bathroom, however, it’s not a substitute for soap and water, just a temporary quick fix.

Keep your children away from others who are sick – you can’t worry about other people’s feelings.

Saying things like, “we’re planning to stay home this weekend”, or “thanks for offering, but we’re not available” is all you need to say if someone who is sick is around and you need to get out of an event. Also, if your child is the one who’s sick and not feeling well – use some sick leave and keep them at home if possible.

Clean and disinfect household objects.

I try to wash the boy’s toys and bath items once every few months, but this is a great reminder to just do it again now. Spraying it down with some disinfectant and a good wipe doesn’t take long once you’re in a rhythm. I usually put on a playlist and have my husband take the boys outside for a while so the fumes don’t get to them and I can have some uninterrupted cleaning time.

Teach your children to avoid touching their face to keep your child healthy during an outbreak.

This is the hardest one in my opinion. Kids never remember anything we tell them. So when I catch them touching or reaching for a face, I just gently move their hands. I’m not 100% but now that I’m on alert, it’s happening less and less. I can’t get mad at my 3 year old for not remembering, I just do the best I can.

Stock up on dollar spot (from Target) and other cheap and easy craft, educational, and fun activities.

Schools might be closed for a period of time to ensure they are protecting your child from the coronavirus. I like to have things on hand to make sure that the boys stay busy and I can pull out a few things to keep them interested, then we’ll read, take a break, color, make a craft, etc. when they are home with me.

If your children are old enough, explain what’s happening and why people are concerned.

You don’t have to scare them, but cleanliness is of utmost importance and really that’s a life skill they need anyways.

Remove clothing once you get home if you’ve been in large public settings and leave shoes and coats by the door.

Limiting exposure to the rest of the house and avoiding any contaminated clothing could save you.

This last tip is for the parents – be careful which sources you pay attention to and don’t obsess over the news.

We all have to stay informed on how viruses and the flu are progressing, but there are a lot of fake sources and misinformation being spread and we still need to live our lives. Just double check the source before you believe or share what you see. I like to check with the CDC and my local news station – this way I know what’s happening in my own area and what the official data is.

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