Winter can be such a beautiful season: crisp and bright and still.
I might complain occasionally of the cold or the cabin-fever
brought on by a snowstorm, but all in all, winter isn’t too high on my
hate-list. Of course, my
sometimes-fondness for winter isn’t hurt any by the mild season we’ve been
having this year.
But for all its beauty, winter has the ability to bring me
to my knees. The dry air and lack of
sunshine creates the perfect environment in which sickness thrives. Having small children, I sometimes think of
winter and its accompanying viruses as a minefield. One we must navigate with stealth and cunning
if we are to avoid the worst of the season’s offerings.
Even if your family chooses to vaccinate against the flu,
the vaccine isn’t one-hundred percent guaranteed to protect. Plus, there are numerous other viruses making
the rounds each year, meaning that we must take matters into our own hands as
much as we are able.
Here are some simple ways to keep winter’s minions from
felling your house with sickness:
Wash your hands
heard this mantra before, and with good reason: it’s scientifically proven to
remove the germs that would infect us before they can reach our noses or
mouths. If the virus isn’t on your
hands, it’s less likely to take up residence in your body. Wash several times per day with warm water
and regular soap to rid your hands of their ability to spread germs.
Turn and cover
It’s almost as
useless to cough into a hand as it is to cough without covering at all. The germs on a cough-catching palm are easily
transferable to doorknobs, toys, and friends.
Teach your kids to turn away and cough into their elbows instead,
trapping the germs in an out of reach area.
family foods that are proven to boost immunity.
Load up on onions, garlic, citrus, probiotic yogurts, black tea, bell
peppers, fish, and oats. Eating chicken
soup is no joke: the hot, salty broth can thin mucous secretions while the iron
and protein in chicken can strengthen blood cells and aid in antibody
production. Be sure to supplement with
plenty of Vitamin D (ask your doctor for correct dosages) as its components
help our bodies fight illness.
Count (healthy) sheep
To be able
to fight off viruses easily, our bodies need to be well-rested. Get your kids to bed at regular or even
slightly early times during the winter months.
If a virus has already taken hold, keep little ones home in bed to let
their bodies heal while keeping their germs contained.
body – cells, organs, and skin – is well hydrated, it’s harder for viruses to
take hold. Moist mucous membranes trap
the germs that would burrow into our system, causing sickness. Drink mostly water – all day long –
supplemented by hot tea and a little bit of fruit juice, especially those that are
naturally full of vitamins, like orange juice.
Nothing is a
foolproof guarantee against our families getting sick during the dry, cold
winter season, but implementing these practices to stay healthy can only
improve our chances.
turn, has the ability to keep winter just as it should be: beautiful and
[Originally published here.]
What does your family do to avoid winter germs? Share your tips and tricks!