Keeping Your Family Healthy Rain or Shine
Author: Alyssa Craig
Sick days are a part of normal life. A single illness can seem to cycle through the family from one member to the next and back again for weeks. While you’ll never be able to protect your family members from every single bug, you can help prevent illness and help reduce the amount of downtime when an illness does strike.
When life gets busy we tend to forget the basics of staying healthy. Check out these tips and reminders to help you get back to the basics.
- Proper Nutrition and Plenty of Water: Nothing can replace a diet full of proper nutrition. This includes a lot of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean proteins and minimal to no processed foods and few foods that are high in fats and sugars. Good nutrition also includes drinking plenty of water and staying away from sodas and energy drinks.
- Exercise Regularly: Get your family active to help boost their immunity. Encourage family members to join a sports team, play games outside, or consider going for walks as a family.
- Take Daily Vitamins: Even with all you can do on your own, there are probably going to be gaps in your family’s nutrition. As a supplement to good nutrition, help your family members remember take a daily multivitamin. Gummies and chewables are available for children and adults.
- Get Plenty of Sleep: Another great way to help your family stay healthy is to make sure everyone is getting enough sleep. The amount of sleep needed varies by age, ranging from 12-14 hours for kids 1-3 years and going all the way to 8-9 hours for kids 12-18 years.
- Wash Hands Frequently: Germs are easily picked up everywhere so encourage your family to wash their hands often. If you are looking to go green, consider stocking your home with an organic no rinse hands cleaner like this one.
- Stay Away from People Who are Sick: This seems like a no brainer but it must be said, avoid those who are already sick. If you can, stay away from large social gatherings where your family may be exposed to a variety of illnesses.
Reducing Down Time
Even when you follow all the advice above, you or one of your family members may come down with something. Here are some tips to help the sick one get back to feeling better quickly and to keep them from spreading their illness to the rest of the family.
- Quarantine the Illness: While this may not always be possible, try to keep the sick family member secluded from the rest of the family. Not only will this give them more quiet so they can get better quality rest, but it will help keep them from sharing the illness with other family members.
- Cover Nose and Mouth: If the illness involves a cough, sneezing, or a runny nose, encourage the sick family member to cough into their elbow and sneeze into a facial tissue. Then promptly apply some cleaner, as mentioned above.
- Disinfect Everything: Germs spread quickly, so do as much as you can to clean the house and disinfect all doorknobs, light switches, cupboard handles, and anywhere else all family members may touch on a daily basis.
- Do Not Share Things Like Cups or Towels: Even when you are not showing symptoms, you may still be carrying sickness causing germs. Especially during this time of year, do not let your family members share things like cups or towels to keep germs from spreading.
- Keep Common Areas Clean:This includes the bathroom, kitchen, living rooms, and family rooms. Keep these areas clean as much as possible to prevent the creation of an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria.
- If You’re Sick Avoid Preparing Food Others Will Eat: This may be difficult to do if you have a young family, but if you can have older children or your spouse do the cooking while you are ill. Food can be a carrier of germs, so avoid infecting your family and ask someone else to do the cooking for a bit.
Keeping your family healthy is a top priority and while illnesses may come even after your best efforts, you can help minimize the consequences and have your whole family back in tip top shape in no time!