ASK THE CPCMG PEDIATRICIAN: How can I keep my child from getting sick?

While there is no guaranteed way to keep your child from getting sick, certain precautions may make a difference.

Keep Hands Clean
The main defense against colds and flu is regular hand washing. Help your children get in the hand washing habit! Demonstrate and practice hand washing with children using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ask the children to pretend they’re at a sink with soap and warm water, and sing “Happy Birthday” as you pretend to wash and rinse. Make sure to wash the tops, palms, in between the fingers and under your nails as you demonstrate good hand washing.

It’s just as important to teach your children when they should wash their hands. Hands should be washed after kids cough or sneeze, after using the bathroom, after playing with other children, and before eating food.

Sneezing and Coughing – Cover Up!
Children should learn to sneeze and cough into their elbow. Again, demonstrate and practice fake sneezes and coughs so your child knows what to do.

For both hand washing, coughs and sneezes, provide positive feedback when you see your child doing the right thing!

Check Out Your Day Care Center or School
Is there a hand-washing policy in place? How many sinks are available? Are children asked to wash their hands before snacks and lunch? Ask about the cleaning policy to ensure surfaces are being cleaned regularly so germs and bacteria are eliminated.