Keeping Your Kids Healthy This Winter

Submitted by by Oscar on

As the cold weather starts, we begin to face the inevitable illnesses that go hand-in-hand with winter.  Luckily, there are measures that you can take to keep your kids healthy all year long.

1.  Keep them safe in the car.

Although this may seem like an odd recommendation to lead the list of ways to your child healthy this winter, accidents are the number one cause of death among children, with motor vehicle accidents being the most common.  Following child passenger safety guidelines is the single most important way to keep your child healthy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, following guidelines for child passenger safety can reduce the risk of death by at least half.  Children under 13 years of age should be in the back seat, or have the air bag turned off in the front seat.  Even with airbags turned off, the back seat is 26 percent safer for children.  Using safety belts and, when recommended, booster seats or car seats, is a great way to keep your kids healthy. 

2.  Have your child wash their hands.

Washing hands is the one of the easiest ways to keep your child healthy throughout the year.  According to the CDC, hand washing is considered the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection. Diseases are caused by germs and germs are carried on your hands. Proper hand washing is an easy and effective way to reduce the transmission of disease. Hand washing works – the result is fewer sick days and fewer visits to the doctor.  When a sink is not available, waterless hand sanitizer is a great way to keep hands germ free. 

3.  Keep children up to date on their vaccines.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools for preventing disease and death of the 20th century.  Vaccines help protect not only your child, but also the children around them, from serious illness.  As a result of vaccines, death rates for 13 diseases that can be prevented by childhood vaccinations were found to be at all-time lows in the United States in 2007.  A schedule of recommended vaccines can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/default.htm.

4. Encourage physical activity.

Increased physical activity leads to a longer and healthier life.  Physically inactive children become physically inactive adults, and are increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.  Physical inactivity has contributed to the 100 percent increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S. since 1980, as found by the CDC.  The World Health Organization recommend that children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily.  

View all 8 tips here at the orginal blog by South Brunswick Patch