MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Did you know that, on average, children under the age of three catch six to eight colds per year?
While researchers will tell you that this ultimately helps strengthen your growing child’s immune system, surviving the cold and flu season can seem like an overwhelming challenge for working parents who are faced with taking days off and adjusting busy family schedules.
According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “When children have runny noses, it is really critical for parents to exercise caution, and keep them away from other children.”
This is because the cold virus usually tends to end up on their hands, clothing, and toys--where it can live for up to 30 minutes. “If another child touches a toy with an infected virus on it, and then rubs her nose or eyes, she can easily catch the cold,” says Anderson.
Here are some tips to help your family through the cold and flu season.
Wash Your Hands
Anderson says everyone needs to wash their hands frequently for at least 30 seconds with anti-viral soap and hot water. Because the typical cold lasts six to 14 days, and viruses are easily transmitted on your hands.
While this tactic is simple, it has been proven effective. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that children who regularly use a hand sanitizer have 50 percent fewer absences from school than those who don't.
Avoid Touching Your Eyes and Nose
According to Anderson, “You also want to avoid contact as much as possible with your eyes and nose, only touching them when your hands are freshly washed and clean.”
Slow Down and Get Plenty of Sleep
Anderson says another important thing you can do to survive the cold and flu season is slow down, de-stress, and make sure that you and your children are getting the proper amounts of sleep.
She says the reason why so many people get sick after the holidays is because they are worn down and exposed to other sick people who are out and about when they should be at home resting. Research has also proven that stress hormones actually break down a person’s immune system, so watching your family’s stress level is important.
“Look at January as the perfect time to slow down, recharge, and focus on staying healthy,” says Anderson. “After the busy holiday season, it actually feels good to force yourself to slow down and take it easy.”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at www.ebenezerchildcare.com.
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