Partly Cloudy   56.0F  |  Forecast »

Prevent Childhood Illness

Little proactive steps are still the best family health medicine; here are seven

Achoo! Are sniffles, sneezes and sore throats afflicting your little angel? You're not alone. Colds and bouts of stomach flu are the most common reasons kids miss school, according to the renowned Mayo Clinic. Pink eye and strep throat are close behind.

Put mother's wisdom to work: Dole out a healthy dose of prevention. We've compiled seven top tips to prevent childhood illnesses, based on facts from the World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health and doc-approved KidsHealth website.

1. Get immunized. Simple shots halt many childhood diseases, from measles and mumps to influenza and chicken pox. Most inoculations start at birth and continue through 24 months, according to the Every Child By Two campaign. Boosters and vaccines can continue throughout life.

2. Keep it clean. Turn on the faucet and get the soap sudsy after dirty tasks like nose wiping, diapering and toileting. Wash up before and after eating, too. Don't forget instant hand sanitizers! They kill up to 99.99 percent of germs, and the antiseptic sorts don't allow resistance to build up.

3. Breastfeed. Mother's milk protects against respiratory tract infections – even years after nursing is done. At least six months is recommended. Kids that breastfeed are five times less susceptible to ear infections.

4. Yogurt and water. Fluids are vital to keeping the immune system functioning properly and avoiding breakdown through dehydration. Beneficial bacteria in yogurt could beef up resistance to gastrointestinal infection and even cancer, according to the National Yogurt Association.

5. Hit the sack. Ample sleep leaves kids refreshed and helps their bodies fight sickness. The recommended amount varies by age, KidsHealth notes. Preschoolers need 10 to 12 hours per night, for instance, while teens should get eight to nine-and-a-half hours. Late bedtimes and poor sleep habits foster vulnerability to illness.

6. Antibiotic caution. These powerful drugs zap most bacteria behind strep throat and ear, sinus and urinary tract infections. They have zero power over viruses that cause colds, flu and most coughs and sore throats, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Children who often take antibiotics can develop resistance and get sick longer. Use only when necessary and exactly as prescribed.

7. Get engaged. Good mental and social development is critical to kids' overall health and well-being. On top of addressing those basic needs, be sure to talk, play and provide a stimulating environment for your child.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Mushroom Recipes for a Family Meal

Mushroom Recipes for a Family Meal

Mushrooms can be a tough sell with picky eaters but these dishes will entice them to try a bite – or two!

Tennessee Law Prevents Parents from Giving Child a Hybrid Last Name

Tennessee Law Prevents Parents from Giving Child a Hybrid Last Name

Carl Abramson and Kim Sarubbi mashed together their surnames for their first two kids, but Tennessee law says they can't use the last name 'Sabr' for baby No. 3.

Sticky Fingers Duct Tape Book Offers Easy Bow Making How-To

Sticky Fingers Duct Tape Book Offers Easy Bow Making How-To

Sophie Maletsky's new guide, published by Zest Books, is packed with fun crafts and DIY ideas kids and families can make out of colorful duct tape.

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

This versatile craft material transforms into an acorn fall creation, decorative ribbon, cute Japanese critters and cool dividers for your kid's closet.

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

Mealtime can turn from pleasant to panic in a matter of seconds. Protect your child from this mishap with our list of dos and don’ts.

YouTube Moms Parody Iggy Azalea's Hit Song 'Fancy'

YouTube Moms Parody Iggy Azalea's Hit Song 'Fancy'

The rapper's had the hit of the summer, but these clever mothers made it their own, riffing on pregnancy and motherhood in some pretty funny viral videos.

Biscuit Recipes: From Classic to Chocolate

Biscuit Recipes: From Classic to Chocolate

September is National Biscuit Month, but you can bake these any time! These recipes, including classic biscuits from Betty Crocker and cornmeal biscuits from Martha Stewart, will have you reaching...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement