Fight the Flu: How to stay healthy during flu season

It seems like you can take all precautions and yet your preschooler gets sick at least once during these cold, winter months.  That’s pretty normal. However, if your child seems to be getting sick more often than they are feeling healthy, then it’s time to change some habits.  There are many factors that go along with getting sick. We are surrounded by germs at school, daycare, playdates, and just the day-to-day errands like the grocery store, public library & swimming lessons.  You may not be able to ward off all viruses this season, but you can make sure your kiddo is provided with the best care and remedies.

You can search Pinterest for “at-home” options for just about anything!  We have made sure that the list we have put together is all backed by educational sources and safe for all ages, allergy-free & available online or at a whole foods store close by.  These are not cure-all fixes, they are simply healthy choices that help assist in building a healthy immune system to help fight the yucky bugs! Consult your pediatrician with serious symptoms that persist or a high fever develops. 

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Congestion

A wonderful and extremely resourceful website is Budding Star. 

If you’re questioning whether or not your child is congested, here are some signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Extensive coughing
  • Mild Fever
  • Restless and sleepless nights
  • Inability to suck breast milk (in case of babies below 02 years) and associated Vomiting (at times)
  • Increased irritability and crankiness at nights/supper time
  • Rattling noise from the chest
  • Fast breathing or Breathing through the nose

She recommends using an old-fashioned cure and simply giving a mulethi stick to sip to your babies of 3-5 years of age. It sweetly coats the throat and its Vitamin C cures the chest congestion and sore throat. Follow the link to her website to read more about age recommendations, food items, and herbs.  

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Cough

All kids at some point during the season will suffer from a cold that is accompanied by a cough.  There are different types of coughs and some definitely sound worse than others. A great family-focused blog, had some great home remedies to help combat the wet cough and dry cough.

A few ideas she gives include:

  • Salt Water Gargling
  • Honey (with tea, if they can handle the taste)
  • Steam (shower, humidifier, boiling water from a pan on the stove)
  • Ginger has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, so you can make a tea to help soothe the throat.
  • Lemon in tea or water
  • Homemade chest rub (essential oils added to a carrier oil such as coconut oil or grapeseed oil)

Advise your pediatrician if you feel like the cough has lasted longer than a couple of weeks or if they are coughing up thick, greenish-yellow phlegm, wheezing, or experiencing a fever.  An Epsom salt bath is always comforting & adds that steam that we’ve talked about! 

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Sore Throat

Along with congestion and cough comes a sore throat.  A lot of these remedies and ideas go hand in hand, helping with more than just one or the other.  Gargling with warm salt water can help ease a sore throat with an accompanied cough.  

A great idea from Meraki Lane includes the gelatin in warm Jell-O mixture is a delicious way to soothe sore throats. Prepare the mixture according to the directions on the box, but rather than putting it into the fridge to chill, allow it to cool slightly before drinking for relief.  She also suggests popsicles, which help keep kiddos hydrated while numbing the throat.  

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Tummy ache

Dr. Nicole Lewis, a Naturopathic Doctor based out of Fort Collins says, “The gut is the basis for the immune system. Monitoring bowel movements and tummy aches in kids can be the first steps in checking gut health.”  She recommends taking probiotics and avoiding food sensitivities. Vitamins to be taking include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Elderberry. Always talk to your doctor about proper vitamin dosing for kids.

  • Treatment: Magic Socks

She provides a free download on her website, for how to make Magic Socks.  Magic socks can be used for sinus congestion, headache, seasonal allergies, sore throat, common cold, influenza, ear infections, etc.  Join her mailing list and get this free download along with exclusive info on her book about gut health and promo discounts.  

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Constipation

Hydration is number one for constipation.  Make sure that your child is getting enough fluids throughout the day.  If they attend preschool, talk to their teacher about keeping a water bottle close by and reminding them to finish their water while at school.  There are multiple sugar-free water enhancers to add so they don’t get tired of drinking plain water all day every day. Another great tip for keeping your toddler hydrated is offering them fruits and veggies such as watermelon, strawberries, celery or cucumbers that have high amounts of water!

Make sure they are getting plenty of fiber in their diet.  Foods rich in fiber and kid-friendly include oatmeal, apples, whole-grain pasta, sweet potatoes, berries & pears.  Along with eating right, ensure they are getting enough physical activity, whether that’s with you are outside time at daycare.  We talked above about probiotics that support overall gut health. Look into finding the right fit for your child and taking the supplement daily. 

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We have focused a lot on remedies for once your child is sick and didn’t really touch on prevention!  Don’t slack on the preventatives. We gave the idea of probiotics, hydration, fiber-rich diet, and plenty of exercise which can all aid in hindering any illness.  Daily habits that you can help instill in your little one early is washing hands after they use the restroom or when done playing with toys and before a meal, coughing into your elbow, and staying up to date on shots.

Another extremely knowledgeable holistic practitioner, Dr. Cowan with who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years has some recommendations that will help strengthen the immune system and prevent harm from toxic exposures:

  • Cooking with turmeric, which can easily be added to soups or sauteed with veggies or rice.
  • Getting plenty of sunlight (when possible)
  • Eliminate as much as possible all EMF exposure: Turn off WiFi at night, use wired devices whenever possible, and keep all wireless devices in shielded pouches or on airplane mode as much as you can.
  • Try to eat only organic or biodynamic foods to decrease your exposure to agricultural chemicals, which also weaken your immune system.

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We understand the importance of overall health that encompasses physical activity, an atmosphere that exudes positivity and love and creating an environment that is safe for all children.  During these winter months when the flu seems to be around every corner, keep your kiddos protected each way you can by taking the preventative measures and knowing how to care for them if the flu does trespass into your home.      

At Kaleidoscope Kids it is our number one goal to inspire and encourage your children to love learning. Our team of dedicated teachers value your children and their successful growth. At Kaleidoscope, we create your child’s program based on observations in the classroom. This means that our teachers learn about your child’s needs, strengths, and interests and then create the curriculum.

When you come in for a tour you’ll be able to discover all of the unique benefits we offer with your enrollment at Kaleidoscope Kids.  We look forward to helping you make the best choice for your big decision. We will follow up with more information and a phone call to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, if you would like to book a tour, do not hesitate to call us at 203-403-7271.

 

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