If there’s a struggle any parent (or teacher, caregiver or even older sibling) knows, it’s keeping small children from getting the sniffles. When germs and bacteria seem particularly attracted to your little one, it can be difficult to avoid an endless loop of colds, especially in the winter months. Unfortunately, travel only compounds the issue. Air travel, new environments, new people and the general stress of travel — it all contributes to a likelihood of experiencing an illness this cold and flu season.
Here are some tips to keep you and your family happy and healthy during your wintertime travels.
Keep the Fluids Flowing
While cold weather may mean your child isn’t as thirsty, dehydration can creep up on you both, making you more susceptible to illness. The dry environments found during air travel don’t help the situation. Keep everyone in the family properly hydrated this season, whether with water, healthy fruit juice or kid-friendly tea.
Keep clean and don’t be afraid to be that person wiping down the tray table, lap belt, seat, armrest, window and everything else in sight with a disinfecting wipe. Teach your child to wash their hands well (30 seconds of vigorous scrubbing with warm water and soap) before they eat, even if it’s just a snack. Make it a point to tell them to keep their hands away from their face as much as possible (a task easier said than done for a toddler). Ask babysitters, caregivers and family members to practice the same diligence around your kids as well.
It can be hard staying active in winter months, particularly if you live in an area that sees frigid temperatures and plenty of snow. Before and after your winter travel, keep the kids (and yourself!) moving to keep your body as healthy as possible. Not sure you have the indoor space to deal with an overly active child? Head to your local YMCA or a gym with offerings for children, so they have the chance to work off some energy, and you can get in a workout at the same time. Need something a bit easier? Even just getting off the couch and dancing around the house to their favorite songs can keep the blood pumping!
Add a Little Extra Help
Opt for healthy meals and snacks while traveling to ensure everyone in the family is getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Beyond the obvious veggies and fruits, be sure your children are getting enough fiber in their diets. A vitamin supplement can additionally help to keep immune systems strong all through the season.
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