There are lots of ways kids catch and spread colds, and its your job as a parent to stop them. Unfortunately, many adults don’t know how.
Children catch an average of six to 10 colds every year. This is much more than the average adult due to both immune system responses and behavior, and there are so many gross ways kids catch and spread colds.
Of course, even adults catch colds all the time. There are over 200 unique strains of virus that cause common cold symptoms. This means that although your immune system might defend you from some sicknesses, there are other iterations of the common cold that could make you sick.
Children face a perfect storm of physical and environmental conditions that can cause them to catch a cold. Here are some environmental causes and how to avoid them.
- Touching Stuff
Kids touch everything. There’s a reason many parents won’t even ask their children how they got mud in their nose after coming in from playing outside. The answer is obvious. Since kids touch everything, then touch their mouth, they can pick up all sorts of nasty bugs and viruses. That said, teach them not only to regularly wash their hands but why they should as well. This way they’ll know not to put their hands in their mouth (but they will probably do it anyway).
- Cold Manners
Even though it might be less common to spread a cold by sneezing or coughing, it is nonetheless polite to cover your cough. Everyone is already told to do this from a young age, but less commonly taught is how to cover your sneeze or a cough. If you sneeze into your hands, you must immediately wash them, and by the time you get to a sink, you or your kids will have touched many things, contaminating them. Teach your kids to cough into their arm for less likely contamination.
In daycare you have a group of children who like to touch everything, may or may not have learned sick manners yet, and they are confined into a small location rife with contaminated surfaces. Helping your children stay illness free through daycare most likely won’t happen, but instilling cautious sickness hygiene habits can certainly contribute to fewer illnesses each year. Also, talk to your daycare provider about their cleaning policies before signing up.
Let’s face it, kids get sick. Yours will too sometimes. That doesn’t mean that you are powerless to prevent at least some colds. Teach them hygiene discipline and you will likely see a reduction in their illnesses.