*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Scotties. All opinions are my own.*
It is snowing.
As a former Californian who still doesn’t understand why people need to experience all of the seasons every year, the snow season, more formally known as winter, is my least favorite thing about life on the East Coast.
I can make accommodations for the rainy springs, I can stomach the summer humidity, and I downright love the crisp, cool, colorful falls, mostly because I love boots and sweaters. But winter?
Snow, ice, freezing temps, horrid driving conditions, people in the grocery store acting all frantic and buying up all of the milk and toilet paper in sight, and all of the germs that come out to dance their evil all over my family, I can entirely do without.
I don’t know the medical science of it, but we all know that winter season breeds ugly and illness. I mean there is a winter induced mental illness actually called SAD, for crying out loud.
As far as I’m concerned, the only bright spot of the winter season is literally Christmas and that’s because I simply refuse to let weather, bad drivers, and influenza ruin my holiday cheer.
Real footage of me getting my holiday on, Black Friday through New Year’s Day…
Sadly, the winter germs have already invaded DudeMom house and winter hasn’t even officially arrived.
Dude 3 has missed 5 days of school this fall thanks to a bout of strep throat and some form of stomach virus that put up a good faith effort to turn my poor baby into this chick…
It was baaaaaad.
And it happens every winter. He’s had several bouts of bronchiolitis, influenza, norovirus, pneumonia, bronchitis, strep, and various other mild to severe illnesses that sideline him for days every winter. Mostly, it’s his immune system and the fact that it is a little bit less enthusiastic than that of other kids, but also I blame winter.
obviously it is capable of so much trauma.
But, everyone knows defense is your best offense so we’ve employed these healthy habits for kids to take on winter illnesses.
Healthy Habits for Kids: How We Beat Winter Illnesses
Step One: Proper Hand Hygiene
Anyone with kids has witnessed their wet and run version of hand washing –a sprinkle of cold water across hands that have seen some things, no soap, no scrubbing, just wet and run.
That might work in the summer months (I’m kidding, it never works, ever) when sweltering temps and chlorine filled days are making germs fight for their evil little lives.
But come winter, that kind of hand washing slack job is just not gonna cut it.
These hardcore winter germs aren’t trying to care about a little cold water being thrown around them and you really have to commit to healthy hand hygiene to take them down.
The Dudes know that they are to hit the bathroom for a REAL hand washing the moment they come home from school (aka The Germ Incubator).
What does a real hand washing look like?
Step Two: Cover Your Cough
I constantly remind my boys of the importance of correctly covering their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough when it comes to preventing the spread of germs. Having Scotties tissues within reach makes teaching this habit so much easier.
This fall, Scotties sent us several of their new, beautifully designed tissue boxes. With their subtle, appealing designs and color schemes, they’re easy to work into every room of your home in a way that doesn’t scream LOOK AT THIS BOX OF TISSUE.
They are situated throughout our house—with a few stashed away for replenishing—which means they are easily accessible to noses whenever and wherever they start to run.
Now, to get them to reach for one instead of using their shirt sleeve.
Step Three: Use Hand Sanitizer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce microbes on them in most situations. However, they also recommend the use of hand sanitizers (with 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available.
While some still fear the chemical content of hand sanitizers, recent studies have found that, when it comes to young children, using hand sanitizers may actually be more effective than hand washing in preventing illness.
For us, we make it a point to do both. I give each of my kids a couple portable hand sanitizers (one attaches to their backpacks, one goes in their lunch bags) to use at school. I encourage them to use the product when they come in from recess and before they eat lunch.
We keep a box of them in the kitchen so I can easily replenish their supply when it runs low.
How do you keep your kids healthy and illness free when the winter germs come out to play?