(BPT) – Studies show that children in daycare or attending school can catch up to 12 common viral infections each year and that each of these infections can last seven to 10 days. Getting sick is commonly seen as part of growing up but the good news for parents is that you can help support your child’s immune system.
Here are five things you can do to potentially help reduce the 12 viral infections a kid can encounter in just one year.
* Review hand-washing techniques. This classic practice still remains one of the most effective ways to eliminate germs. You’ve probably already taught your children how to wash their hands, but are they finishing too quickly? Each hand-washing session should last about 20 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s long enough for children to sing the ABCs twice. Children should also know to wash their hands before eating, making food or handling a baby, and after going to the bathroom, playing outside, touching an animal or sneezing.
* Are your child’s vaccinations up to date? Vaccinations won’t prevent your child from catching a cold, but they can protect him from more serious illnesses like the flu. You can find more information on the proper immunization schedule for your child by visiting the CDC’s website.
* Support their immune system. Research shows deficiencies in zinc and vitamins A, C, D and E can reduce the overall function of the immune system. Zarbee’s Naturals immune support supplements with ingredients such as Elderberry can help support your child’s immune system when he or she is most susceptible. Created for children ages 2 months to teens, there’s an immune-system supplement for children of any age. There is even an immune support option for parents.
* Avoid exposing your child to others who are sick. If your child’s best friend is sick, the play date will have to wait. Remember, children are contagious before their symptoms actually show and distancing your kids from those who are physically coughing or sneezing lowers their risk of getting sick.
* Sometimes it’s good not to share. OK, this probably isn’t a life lesson you want your child following most of the time, but some things are better kept to themselves. Bottles, utensils and cups should not be shared between children, as bacteria is easily transferred through saliva. Make sure your child has his own lunch and that he knows not to share with or borrow from other students at mealtime.
While cooler temperatures and the continuing school year increase your child’s risk of catching an illness, your child can reduce his risk for getting sick. Employ the tips above and you can help your child stay safe and healthy this school year. To learn more about how Zarbee’s Naturals can support your child’s immune system, visit www.zarbees.com.