How to keep kids healthy over the holiday season

by Dec 10, 2021Children's Health, Christmas

We’ve been battling a stubborn ear infection with our little one and it’s forced us to be diligent with not only his supplements, but ours to. So, allow this to be a friendly reminder to take care of yourselves and your little ones as we enter the holiday season.

If you feel like your little one is catching more colds since September rolled around, you’re not alone. September normally marks the beginning of cold and flu season and the past two years we’ve added a whole other layer on top.

Curious what a respiratory tract infection consists of? The common cold, flu, an ear infection, sinus infection, tonsillitis, strep throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. This means that symptoms can range from a runny nose to a cough or fever.

On average, children under the age of two experience about six colds a year, and children under six years of age may experience up to five respiratory tract infections a year. Once children enter their teens, they average a similar number of colds a year to adults. Thinking to yourself that this seems like a lot of illnesses in one year? Well, let’s chat about some ways we can help keep our kids healthy over the holiday season to reduce any illness. My top recommendations include general hygiene, keeping routine and keeping on top of your supplementation.

General Hygiene Methods

Evidence-based research suggests that the spread of respiratory viruses can be prevented by hygienic measures in younger children and within households. It’s worth noting that the incremental effect of adding antiseptics to normal handwashing to reduce respiratory disease may be unnecessary. So, if I can leave you with one recommendation, it’s to use regular soap and water and wash your children’s hands often! We keep a pack of the Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Hand ‘n’ Face Wipes on us at all times for when we are out and about.

Keep Sleep Routines

Sleep and its effects on the immune system are complex, however multiple studies show sleep deprivation weakens the immune system. Essentially, many of our immune cells are created while we sleep. Therefore, try not to deviate from your child’s normal sleep routine. If you have a young babe, consider bringing your essentials if you’re out at a holiday event. For us this includes a pack ‘n’ play, sleep sack and noise machine. For older kids consider changing them into their nighttime outfits before leaving your outing so they’re ready for bed when you’re home.

Preventative Supplements

Supplementation can be used as an adjuvant to help prevent respiratory infections in children. The non-negotiable in our family is vitamin D. We all take it, and we make sure to take it consistently. There is plenty of research on the association between low vitamin D status and increased risk of both upper and lower respiratory tract infections. So it is something that I highly encourage all parents give to their children. Health Canada provides general dose recommendations however if you have questions about your child’s specific needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider.

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