Funny how a little nuisance, such as a runny nose or constipation, can make children (and parents!) miserable. But you can keep your kids content by warding off minor health problems before they start. Here’s how.
Don’t let kids share hats, helmets, brushes, combs, hair bands or pillows. Periodically check your child’s head for nits if he has an itchy scalp: An infestation is easiest to cope with when caught early!
Encourage kids to wear flip-flops in public showers and change rooms. They should also towel-dry feet after swimming, then slip on sandals or cotton socks and shoes.
Place kids where they can see over the front seat and out the window (use a booster seat until your child reaches age nine, is 1.4 m (4 ft, 9 in) tall or 36 kg (79 lb), and ditch the DVDs and books in favour of audiobooks, music, a game of I spy and other distractions that let kids gaze at the horizon. A light snack (crackers, for instance) about an hour before you leave may also help. Try giving chronically carsick kids a dose of over-the-counter anti-nausea medicine, such as Gravol, about 30 minutes before departure. (Note: Check with your doctor about dosing if your child is under two.)
Colds and flu
Teach kids to wash or sanitize hands after coughing, sneezing or nose wiping and before eating, and to toss tissues after one use. No tissue handy to cover a cough or sneeze? Get sleeve-savvy: Bury your nose and mouth in your forearm or shoulder. For kids over six months, a flu jab each fall can also help fend off this nasty infection. And if you have a younger baby, or you’re expecting, stick it to the flu yourself: Vaccinating mom and the rest of the family will reduce your baby’s chances of catching the bug.