Keeping Your Foster Child Healthy This Winter
Winter is coming… and it’s fast approaching! The drop in temperature is already being noticed and this means that sooner or later your foster child will likely develop a cough and a cold. There is no way of guaranteeing that your child won’t get sick during the winter, but there are some steps you can take to fend off germs and to keep your child as healthy as possible.
- Make sure your child washes his hands
Regular hand washing is the simplest, most effective way to get rid of cold and flu bugs. Teach your child to wash his hands with soap and warm water after he uses the toilet, before meals and snacks, and as soon as he comes home from school, the playground or a friend’s house.
- Teach your child not to touch his eyes or nose
At any given moment, the unwashed human hand is covered with thousands of germs. When a child rubs his eyes or nose, he’s depositing those germs directly onto his mucus membranes, where they’re rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. While you’re at it, teach your child to use tissues when he sneezes or coughs – this won’t prevent him getting a virus but it will help keep him from giving one.
- Make sure your child’s vaccines are up to date
You can help protect your child from some viruses and bacteria simply by making sure his vaccinations are up to date and that he gets a yearly flu jab.
- Do what you can to boost your child’s immunity naturally
Offer your child a variety of healthy foods so he gets the nutrients he needs. In the colder months it is easy – for everyone, not just children – to want to eat sugary unhealthy comfort foods, but it’s important to ensure you still have a healthy diet and include five portions of fruit and veg a day.
- Sleep and exercise properly
Getting enough sleep at night will help keep your child well-rested and healthy, as well as doing lots of physical activity each day. Try doing some activities as a family to stay active – such as winter walks or ice skating. Regular exercise helps to control weight and boost your immune system.
Should your child get sick this Winter:
- Make sure that your child gets plenty of rest
The more rest he gets, the sooner he’ll feel better. When your child’s not resting in bed, set him up on the sofa with some quiet activities, like a few new books from the library, a DVD, puzzles or board games.
- Urge your child to drink up
Children lose body fluids quickly when they’re sick – especially if they’re running a fever of have diarrhoea. To replenish these fluids, encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids, such as water, juice, and electrolyte solution or milk.
- Know when to call the doctor
While most winter viruses clear up on their own within several days, some can turn into more serious conditions that require medical treatment. Seek medical advice if your child has any of theses symptoms:
- Ear or face pain, which can signal an ear infection or sinus infection
- Wheezing or trouble breathing (possible sign of bronchial infection or pneumonia)
- Diarrhoea or vomiting, which can lead to dangerous dehydration
- A fever of 39 degrees or higher, or a milder fever that lasts more than 3 days