Catching a cold is a common and natural part of childhood, but there are a lot of ways that parents can reduce their children’s risk with easy prevention strategies. Although infants and toddlers will likely develop some colds throughout the year regardless of how careful parents are, every little bit helps.
Here are five of the best ways that parents can prevent colds in young children and educate them about cold prevention.
Probably the most important rule to remember in cold prevention is to wash the hands frequently each and every day. Hand washing is recommended after playing with toys, after sneezing, before eating, and after touching surfaces in public. Physicians recommend scrubbing hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds, which is about the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
Sharing is encouraged in a variety of social settings for children, but sharing can also lead to the spread of germs. Never share eating utensils at meals or eat out of the same bowls to help prevent colds. This goes for towels as well in the kitchen and bathroom.
The foods that are served in meals can either arm a child’s body to fight off germs or make it vulnerable to colds. The best foods for cold prevention, for both kids and adults, are colorful fruits and vegetables. This includes blueberries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and much more. Try introducing new foods to kids gradually. Vitamin D-rich foods, like milk and yogurt, are also recommended to fight off cold viruses.
Everybody loves to hold and touch a cute little baby, but parents should consider redirecting where those cuddles take place. Instead of kissing and touching babies on the hands and face, admirers should be encouraged to touch those little feet and toes instead. This is an effective strategy until a baby is about nine months old and begins sucking the toes.
It’s a smart idea to start teaching children about good hygiene and cold prevention from a very early age. One of the best ways to prevent pediatric colds is to arm kids with the knowledge and training they need to keep themselves healthy.
Remove babies’ fingers from their noses and mouths, and remind toddlers that putting their fingers here is likely to make them feel sick later on. One of the first lessons to teach children is to cover the nose and mouth when sneezing. This is important because thousands of germs are released into the air with each sneeze. Using a tissue when sneezing can reduce the amount of mucous that gets on the hands is and is likely to spread onto other objects.
It is also useful to teach toddlers how to blow their own noses and to wash their hands after each sneeze or blow. The older that children get, the more information parents can share with them to achieve self-sufficiency and a healthy lifestyle. And when colds inevitably strike anyway, PediaCare’s cold medicine for kids is gentle on young bodies, yet tough enough to make children feel better faster.
In this parental guide to cold relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!