Jan 17, 2017 Post By: Children's Health

Healthy winter habits: Prevention is the best medicine
The expert team from our Get Up & Go program offer up three simple steps toward keeping your child healthy this winter.

It is a common myth that you can get a cold from spending time outside when it’s cold. However, the cold viruses thrive in winter weather, so there is a higher risk for getting sick this time of year. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make lower your chances of getting sick, including getting enough sleep, eating right, and washing your hands.

  1. Sleep: While you are resting, your body is busy strengthening your immune system to fight off illnesses. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick and take longer to recover from illness than those who do. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night and school aged children need 10-11 hours.
  2. Eat right: The types of food you eat can affect your health as well. The bacteria in your gut play a role in fighting off sickness, so be sure to feed them with prebiotics such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Eating fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kefir and kimchi will transport more healthy bacteria to your gut to help keep you healthy.
  3. Wash your hands: Keeping your hands clean is the best way to prevent illness. Germs can spread in many ways, and each time you touch your face or food with dirty hands you increase the chances that you will get sick. If you wash your hands before eating or cooking, after using the restroom, after touching animals and after coughing or sneezing you will help keep you and those around you from getting sick. Use warm water and soap to wash your hands for 20 seconds for best results.

All these behaviors are good for health year-round, so by make them a habit and you’ll be well on your way to avoiding getting a colds and flu this winter.

Learn more about the Children’s Health Get Up & Go program.