Many infectious diseases can affect both adults and kids alike. A lot of these diseases, including the one caused by COVID-19, are avoidable by observing certain precautions. Because of this, parents must highlight the importance of good hygiene for their kids.
Many infectious diseases can affect both adults and kids alike. A lot of these diseases are avoidable by observing certain precautions. Because of this, parents must highlight the importance of good hygiene for their kids.
Here’s what you need to know to protect your family from various infectious diseases.
Children and Viruses
As parents, it’s important to realize that kids are easy targets for viruses. You may have already noticed that your younger children get sick quite frequently. There are a couple of possible reasons for this, such as:
Underdeveloped immune system – When babies are born, the antibodies of the mother usually stay in their bloodstream for a couple of months. Those antibodies protect the child right after they are born. However, once the antibodies are gone, kids are left with an immune system that hasn’t fully matured yet, so it is incapable of fighting off diseases as easily as older kids and adults do.
Frequent hand-to-mouth contact – Kids are curious and active, so they’re always bound to get their hands on something. They like touching different things and surfaces, and because they’re curious, a lot of kids won’t hesitate to put their hands inside their mouths. They love playing with other people, whenever and wherever, not caring if they get dirty. This makes them prone to contracting different illnesses from bacteria and viruses.
Not cautious enough – Who can blame them? Kids are kids, and they want to run around and play as much as they can. A day at the playground is always a treat, but it can be a breeding ground for virus contamination. When kids sneeze, they just wipe the saliva off their clothes and touch everything without a care in the world.
Tips to Prevent Getting Communicable Diseases
While young children are easily prone to infections, there are many things you can do to protect your family from contracting communicable diseases. Here are just some of them:
Teach your kids proper handwashing – Handwashing is something both adults and kids take for granted, but it has a significant impact on the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases. Teach your kids how to properly wash their hands with soap and water. Sing songs with them to keep them entertained while they scrub their hands for about 20 seconds.
Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands – There are instances when you or your kids don’t have a way to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly. If you’re going out, always bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you. Make sure to get one that’s 50% alcohol to make sure it kills most of the germs on your hands.
Avoid shaking hands with other people – As much as possible, try to avoid shaking hands with other people. You don’t exactly know what the person you’re about to shake hands with has touched. It may seem rude, but in times of an outbreak, it’s better to err on the side of caution. The other person is sure to understand this.
Always disinfect your home – A clean home provides a safe haven for you and your family. By disinfecting your house, you’re killing off the harmful germs that you might contract. When cleaning your home, don’t forget to disinfect high-touch items, such as your phones, TV remote, and your kids’ toys. Also, make sure to disinfect heavy-use areas, such as kitchen appliances, doorknobs, sofas, and tables.
Wear face masks – A face mask greatly helps decrease you and your family’s risk of getting sick. If you’re going to crowded places, make sure to wear a face mask. Consequently, if you’re sick, wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of the virus within and outside the household. Also, make sure to wear your mask correctly. Remember that if you’re wearing a surgical face mask, always keep the colored side out.
Avoid going to crowded areas – The more people crowded in an area, the easier it is for viruses to get passed on. Also, you can’t be completely sure about the health status of a stranger in a specific place. To be safe, just avoid going to and staying in crowded areas, altogether.
Help your kids boost their immune system through food – The best way to fight off infectious diseases and improve your children’s health is by helping them boost their immune system. The best way to do this is by eating nutritious food. Foods high in vitamin C will definitely help.
Choose kids’ products made with the right material – Many toys and feeding products out in the market are made with materials like plastic that serves as a home to many germs and viruses. If you can, instead of using such products, opt for the better alternative. Find child products that are organic and have little to no plastic in them.
Carry your own utensils if you’re eating out – It’s good practice to bring your own utensils when eating out. While many establishments ensure they thoroughly clean and disinfect their utensils, you still can’t be 100% sure. If you’re looking for reliable kids’ tableware, try our travel-friendly and eco-friendly stainless steel silverware for kids.
Tips on Educating Kids About Viruses and Hygiene
When it comes to health, safety, and hygiene, it’s best to teach kids good habits as early as their toddler years. However, it’s quite difficult to get the attention of young tots and keep them engaged when talking about issues like the spread of diseases and viruses.
As parents, you must actively try to make them understand the implications of getting a virus and the importance of hygiene in the prevention of communicable diseases. Luckily, there are many fun ways to get their attention, like:
Let them learn using kid-friendly material – While kids don’t have enough knowledge to read a long research paper or article about viruses, they can still find out more about it through simpler and more fun means. There have been efforts to create comics that simplify information about the outbreak. Let your kids read it, and be on standby in case they have questions about it.
Let them be involved with prevention through DIY projects – Arts and crafts are activities that are almost always interested in doing. Why not use it to educate kids about viruses and hygiene? You can let them design their own facemasks and make ones that they find cute enough to wear. You can also make hand sanitizer with them and promote creativity by using food-safe coloring and kid-friendly glitter.
Make sure to comfort your kids – A disease outbreak is definitely a scary event. When they become frightened of what they learned about viruses, make sure to be there to reassure them. Let them understand that there are ways to prevent getting such illnesses, and encourage them to observe good hygiene. Tell them that they don’t have to worry when they do their part.
Many parents around the world are concerned because of the current worldwide health situation caused by a virus, and it’s understandable if you’re one of them. Our kids, however, may not know enough to care. It is then your duty to educate your kids and encourage them to be proactive in following necessary habits that will keep them safe. Doing so is necessary if you want to protect your family from any type of virus or disease.