Select Region
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

How to Keep Your Kids Healthy This Holiday Season

How to Keep Your Kids Healthy This Holiday Season

These tips can help you differentiate between a cold and the flu, too.


Between traveling, going into the city, seeing family, and the weather, there are a million reasons why it’s easier for your kids to get sick during the holidays. And even if you encourage hand washing, proper nutrition, and healthy habits…your kids can still get sick! So how do you differentiate between a common cold and the flu or other upper respiratory infections, establish healthy routines your kids will follow, and know when to keep your child home from school? Gustavo Ferrer, M.D., FCCP, a pulmonologist and author of Cough Cures: The Best Natural Remedies and Over-the-Counter Drugs for Acute and Chronic Cough, is here with tips on how to accomplish all of the above.

 

Establish routines with your kids.

It can be hard to get your kids to wash their hands and eat their fruits and vegetables, so Ferrer recommends creating a routine and doing it with them. He began washing his hands with his kids as soon as they got home from school when they were about nine years old–and now, as teenagers, they automatically go to the sink when they get home.

If soap and water aren’t nearby, Ferrer recommends hand sanitizer, which will do the trick in a pinch–but doesn’t replace hand washing. Make sure you kids are getting proper nutrition and staying active, as well.

 

Protect kids with fragile immune systems while traveling.

“During this season, we travel a lot, and we’re maintaining close contact with people for a long time,” Ferrer says. “Planes are becoming smaller and smaller and have more and more people breathing and recirculating the same air, and that increases the transmission of viruses. If the person or child traveling has chronic diseases like chronic bronchitis or asthma, or they have cancer or they’re on chemotherapy, it is strongly advised that they use a protective mask to cover their mouth and nose. On top of that, use protective hygiene.” 



Research has also shown that using a nasal spray that combines saline with xylitol can also help prevent and treat the transmission of viruses. Xlear is a popular name brand spray.

 

Know when to keep your child home.

Even if she is not running a fever, if your child has a runny nose and a cough, keep her home from school, Ferrer says–especially in the first 48 hours of the illness when it’s most transmissible. If by day two, she still has a runny nose but is happy and is eating, there’s no reason to keep her home any longer.

 

Also know when to get your child to the doctor.

Ferrer explains that the flu often produces a fever that is “sticky,” meaning the sick person stays warm for a long time. This is an easy way to get dehydrated, he says.

“Here are the red flags. If we see a child having a stuffy nose, coughing, a fever, and he’s not eating, and [he is] fussy or crying, and the fever is lasting more than 2 days, I would certainly take him to the doctor. Shortness of breath or phlegm that changes colors rapidly also means it’s time to take him to the doctor,” Ferrer says. “By day two or three, I would be considering taking the child to the hospital.”

For more information on how to keep your kids healthy this season, and to check out a sneak peek of Ferrer’s new book, visit his website.

RELATED: Keep up with health news for your family!


Want more content like this? Great Family Activities Sent To You!


More Articles:

At What Age Can Children Legally Sit in the Front Seat?

Before you let your child sit in the front seat of your car after calling "Shotgun," make sure you know how old your child should be before they becom...


Latest News:

Live Coronavirus Updates for Parents and Kids in the New York Metro Area

UPDATED DAILY: Live updates on coronavirus developments in the New York metro area, as well as tips for discussing the pandemic with your children, ke...


Family Activities:

IN PERSON Loosen Up And Paint: A BYOB Night Out!

The Rye Arts Center Jan. 21, 2021

BYOB and join The Rye Arts Center for an evening of self-expression through paint! No paint-by-nu...



Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.
Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

Featured Listings:

Lice Clinics of America - Long Island

Lice Clinics of America - Long Island

Syosset, NY Lice Clinics of America Long Island ends the nightmare of lice by dehydrating lice and their eggs in one single 60 minute lice removal treatment. Our ...

A-Game Sports

A-Game Sports

New Rochelle, NY A-Game Sports was founded in 2013 by two guys who decided that it was time to do what they truly love in life. Since then, A-Game Sports has made the ...

Lice Clinics of America -- Westchester

Lice Clinics of America -- Westchester

White Plains, Lice Clinics of America Long Island ends the nightmare of lice by dehydrating lice and their eggs in one single 60 minute lice removal treatment. Our ...

Allied Physicians Group

Allied Physicians Group

Melville, New York The more than 120 physicians that comprise Allied Physicians Group are among the top pediatricians throughout Long Island, New York City, Westchester ...