The cold and wet winter months always bring plenty of germs and bugs with them, which means that everyone is at risk of catching something that could make them feel unwell.

Children are often at a greater risk of picking up a cold or sickness bug, especially if they attend school or nursery, as they will be sharing toys and possibly snacks with others who are carrying germs.

These tips for keeping children healthy during winter will hopefully assist you in helping the children in your care to avoid those nasty bugs, as we head towards the warmer spring months.

Educate them about hygiene

Most germs are spread from person to person through having close contact with someone who is poorly or touching items that they have been handling. This is very common in children as they may not understand this concept like adults do and are very likely to be playing with the same toys as those who are carrying germs.

Through educating children about the importance of hygiene you can help them to avoid picking up bugs from those that they are spending time with, which will mean that they are less likely to become ill themselves.

For example, teach them that they must wash their hands after using the toilet, before and after meals and once they return from playing outside. It may also be a good idea to show them how to wash their hands effectively and encourage them to take their time rather than rush through the process.

Boost their immune system

One of the best ways to avoid catching colds and bugs during winter is to build up a strong immune system, so that if a child does come into contact with germs they will be more able to fight them off and avoid becoming ill themselves.

The three ingredients which form to create a great immune system are a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and a bit of exercise.

A child’s diet should consist of meals which contain lots of vitamins that help to build a strong immune system, and this means lots of fruit, vegetables and dairy products. Citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, and yoghurt are all fantastic for improving immunity to colds, plus using garlic, ginger and turmeric in cooking will also help to boost this. It is always advisable to make sure that any children in your care are not allergic to any food that you may want to use.

Getting plenty of sleep is important in creating a strong immune system as a lack of sleep can reduce the number of infection-fighting antibodies that your child’s body produces. Setting a regular bedtime and putting together a calming and relaxing bedtime routine will help your child to drift off and get enough hours of rest each night.

Those who complete just a few moderate sessions of exercise each week boast a stronger immune system than those who don’t, as being active boosts the antibodies which attack those unwanted germs. Young children are often quite active anyway due to doing lots of running around, but older kids may need reminding about how important this is every now and then.

Ensure vaccinations are up to date

Our final tip for keeping children healthy during winter is to ensure that all their vaccinations are up to date. If you are not sure about which ones the children in your care have had, or which ones they need, you can check this with their doctor who will have a record.

It is advised that young children have a flu vaccination each year as they are in one of the high-risk groups for this illness, so keep this in mind during the winter months too as flu comes with lots of horrible symptoms that you really want your children to avoid if at all possible.

By following these tips for keeping children healthy this winter, you can help to raise healthy and happy children who are more able to fight off those nasty bugs and enjoy winter rather than suffer through it.