Get Checked Out
Keeping your family healthy is an important part of being a parent. In some cases, it simply can’t be helped; everyone gets sick from time to time. However, there are some things that can be done to ensure a better level of health overall. Even if one member of your household has a cold, you can put measures in place to stop others from becoming sick too. Here are some of the ways that you can help keep your family healthy.
Having regular visits to the doctor is a good idea. You can take the whole family once or twice a year and have a professional check them all over (and you too) to ensure everyone is as fit as possible. If there are any illnesses that might be on their way, a visit to the doctor could even spot them before they become too serious. Doctors aren’t the only medical professionals to make appointments with on a regular basis – seeing the dentist and optometrist are also great ways to keep your family healthy overall. A dentist can look at oral hygiene and carry out oral cancer screenings, and an optometrist can make sure that everyone’s vision is as it should be, or offer corrective lenses if it is not.
It is far better to go to these important appointments and find that nothing is wrong than to ignore the need to visit a professional and become more unwell because you haven’t sought help.
Look At Your Hygiene
Having a good level of hygiene within your home will help you defend yourself and your family from the myriad germs that are potentially so harmful and can cause sickness. One way to encourage a high level of general hygiene is to get everyone into the habit of washing their hands a number of times a day. Certainly this should be done after using the bathroom and before handling any food at the very least.
If you are out and about and there is nowhere to wash your hands when you need or want to, don’t worry. Simply ensure that you carry antibacterial wipes or gel with you at all times so that you can keep your family’s hands nice and clean and keep them healthy at the same time.
Just as important as hand washing is teaching your family not to pick. That means picking at their nose, their face, their nails, rubbing their eyes, sucking their thumbs or fingers, and every other bad habit that children (and some adults) seem to have. It can be a habit that makes children feel comfortable, but it can also make them sick because germs live in those warm, moist places such as noses and mouths.
During the winter it can be tempting to wear thick, heavy sweaters, for example, but this is not the best way to stay warm (and therefore healthy). Layers are a much better idea because they provide the right level of insulation. This will also mean that you don’t have to have the heating on in your home at a high level. Of course, this will save you money on your energy bills, but it will also keep your family healthier. When the rooms are too hot, the body cannot compensate and becomes overheated which leads to sickness.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Healthy, nutritious meals are a hugely important part of maintaining your family’s health. Eating healthily will boost the immune system, so that the body is more easily able to fight of any bacteria and germs that cause diseases that comes its way.
One way to give your family a healthy meal is to offer a rainbow of colors when serving fruits and vegetables. The more colorful the plate is, the healthier it is. If it is all brown or beige, then it probably isn’t that good for you, for example. The important thing is to get a good mix of the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
It is also important to eat breakfast, even if you don’t feel like it. This will wake up your immune system and your metabolism and ensure that your body works better at defending itself against germs.
Staying hydrated will help everyone to ward off diseases as much as possible, and that is just as important during the winter as it is during the summer. You might notice you are thirsty in the summer because it’s so much warmer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink just as much when it’s a lot colder too.
Water is the ideal way to keep yourself and others hydrated as it contains everything you need to stay healthy. Many people drink a lot of hot beverages such as coffee and tea, but these can sometimes have a dehydrating affect due to the caffeine within them. If you don’t like to drink water, then fruit teas are a great substitute. It is also a bad idea to use alcohol to hydrate yourself as this will have the opposite effect and will also inhibit your ability to care for your family, or yourself.
For children who don’t like water, try not to give them fruit juice as an alternative if possible because it is so full of sugar which is very bad for their teeth. Squash (with no added sugar) is the best choice here.
Keep Medicines At Home
You simply won’t be able to head off every single cold or bug that comes into your household no matter how hard you try. Therefore, for those times when your family members do get sick, having the right medications on hand to treat them straight away should help to minimize the time they are unwell for. There are many different medicines that can be bought from pharmacies and that don’t need a prescription, and these can be kept safely at home (ideally in a locked cabinet if you have small children).
Getting enough sleep is something that is crucial to everyone’s health, which is why having a set bedtime for you and everyone else in the house, no matter how old or young they might be, is going to improve health hugely. The immune system is going to be compromised when you don’t get enough sleep, and therefore won’t be strong enough to fight off illnesses that come into the home.
On top of that, when you sleep your body has the chance to repair itself and heal. If you don’t sleep enough, that healing process can’t happen and you will be more vulnerable to health issue. Plus, lack of sleep is known to be at least a partial cause of obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, stress, and depression amongst other things. Sleeping well is a basic element for remaining healthy.
Although it may not be a lot of fun, keeping away from other people when there are a lot of bugs and illnesses going around is a good way to keep as healthy as possible for as long as possible. It isn’t always going to be possible, especially with school aged children, but it is something to bear in mind, and if you can stay at home and enjoy some time bonding with your family then this can be a good idea.
If you do need to head out to a family gathering, for example, then try not to kiss anyone; hugs are a better choice as you stand less chance of catching any diseases. If you spot someone coughing and sneezing, keep a polite distance.
When your kids are unwell, then the best thing you can do is stay at home to stop from spreading the illness. In this way, even if your family did get sick, at least they won’t make anyone else unwell. Neither will they get another illness on top of the first, and the initial sickness should be quicker to get rid of too.
When you cough or sneeze it is vital that you cover your mouth and nose to stop the germs from spreading. You can do this using a handkerchief or tissue, or you can do it by sneezing or coughing into a bent elbow as this keeps the germs contained. It’s best not to use your bare hands, but if there is nothing else you can use then this is better than using nothing at all. If you do use your hands, then make sure you wash them straight away.
Make sure you teach your children this technique for when they cough and sneeze and even if one has a bug then it is less likely that others will catch it.
When you use tissues, you must throw them out as soon as they are used. Don’t leave them anywhere around the home and don’t try to reuse them, as this is one way that germs can easily be spread and illnesses can last for longer than they should. With handkerchiefs, they should be washed on a high heat once they have been used.