The new year is upon us yet again! How were your holidays spent? Most parents would be busy getting back to work, after spending the vacation, planning trips, going places, all for the sake of their kids. Yet, many do not realise they have forgotten one thing; Health! 2 months away from the school has done it’s good for the kid’s mental well being, but how about their physical well being?
Truth is, when they go back to school, they will potentially be exposed to diseases from their classmates, most particularly, the common flu. So how then, are parents supposed to protect their child? Here are a few pointers that can help you ensure the best for your child in the coming days.
Ensure your child gets enough sleep
- This cannot be stressed enough. Kids in the current era are way too hooked onto electronic entertainment and social media, that it’s easy for them to not notice the time. Lack of sleep has been linked not only to lower immunity, but there are also other effects which manifest later in life.
- An effective way to do this is to establish good sleep hygiene, which includes regular sleeping time each day, discouraging use of electronic devices at night, limiting audio and visual distractions during sleep.
- Holidays are not an excuse to not exercise! Research shows that regular exercise helps maintain and increase natural antibodies, which in turn helps boost your immune system.
- Family exercise is the best way to motivate your children to exercise. Fun activities include swimming, tennis, badminton, hiking, etc. You can read more about it here
You are what you eat!
- This old adage holds true, especially in kids. Proper nutrition helps with your child’s natural growth, and inadvertently helps fight off infections.
- Moderation is key. Keep processed food such as instant noodles, junk food and the likes at a minimum, while emphasizing on whole natural foods, with proper division between carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Remember to include fruits for the ever-so-important vitamins!
Personal protection matters
- No, this isn’t about wearing hazmat suits. It’s about teaching your child personal hygiene! Children are always playing about, and chances are, their hands will be full of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways of stopping transmission of diseases in a community!
- Establish a handwashing habit with your child, and encourage them to wash their hands before/after a meal, after playing, using the washroom, etc.
- A good washing habit looks like this:
- Lastly, but also most importantly, vaccinate your child according to the schedule, which was given when you first gave birth to your child. (Blue books for boys, pink book for girls)
- Unfortunately, vaccination has been getting a pretty bad name due to a recent issue. It is entirely UNTRUE! Vaccinating your child does NOT give your child autism. I’ll deal with that on an entirely different post, but for the time being, just be sure to vaccinate your child as per the regulation of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia.
Got questions? Feel free to ask them in the comment box below!