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Your child probably has a friend or two who always seem to come down with whatever is going around. Not a sniffle, cough or stomach bug escapes their system-causing you to cringe every time your child has a play date with them. Or…your child may be the one other parents are hoping doesn’t get too close to their child because YOUR child is the one who is always sick.
So what gives? What makes one child more susceptible to illness than another? Take a look at the many ways to keep your child healthy:
Toddlers and preschoolers need an average of 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day (including naps). Elementary age children need 8-10 hours of sleep per day. Their bedtime routine also need to be consistent.
Children need a healthy diet of protein (to fuel the body), fresh fruits and veggie, carbs, whole grains and good fats from dairy and nuts. This DOES NOT mean you need to deprive your child of candy and the occasional junk food and kid’s meal. These things just need to be the exception-not the rule.
Of the house, that is. Don’t let your children spend their time in front of the computer, television or in their rooms. Kick their little bums outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. Even if it’s cold outside, bundle them up and let them go.
Make sure they have a swing set, bicycle, balls, jump ropes and other outdoor play equipment to play with. The sunshine supplies the necessary vitamin D we need and the fresh air and exercise are essential for healthy minds and bodies.
That’s right-don’t panic when your kids get dirty. And don’t be running behind them with antibacterial soap. Keeping your children germ-free is kind of like putting them on a steady diet of antibiotics. Our bodies are designed to fight off germs and bacteria. I don’t know a child yet who has died from eating a little dirt, putting their hands to their face after petting the dog or even using the dog house as a fort.
Hand washing should be practiced without exception before eating, after using the restroom and in public places (parks, grocery store, etc.).
Straws, cups and eating utensils with friends.
Head lice can be avoided by not allowing your children to share hats, combs/brushes and hair accessories with others.
Keep your children up to date on their immunisations.
Give your child a multi-vitamin each day if their diet is less than sufficient.
If your child does come down with a case of the sniffles or a slight cough, let nature try to do its thing. Give it 2-3 days (unless it gets drastically worse) before intervening.
Don’t be afraid to let in a bit of fresh air by opening the windows a bit-even on cold days (for a short while, anyway). House plants (non-toxic ones) can also work to purify the air in your house.
Relax. Let your kids be kids. Letting the body do its own thing is usually the best thing we can do. Filling our children with anti-this and that and all sorts of supplements deprives them of building an immune system that works properly.
Darla Noble has been married to her childhood sweetheart, John, for 32 years. They are the parents of 4 beautiful children and 4 perfect grandchildren :)
Parenting Advice by BRAND'S® AlphaMynd Health Food Gallery