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Tips To Keep Your Children Healthy During The Winter

Winter brings many things that we love, such as spending quality time with family while snuggling on the couch under a cozy warm blanket and relishing a good book along with a healthy cup of hot chocolate. Moreover, dressing up warmly in winter coat and boots and heading for long walks with your dog at the local beach, on a chilly winter’s day. Finally, preparing and cooking healthy homemade vegetable soups and casseroles to relish with the entire family is another thing that we love about winter.

But along with the colder temperature comes a few not-so-fun things. Yes, the dreaded cold and flu season. As the chilly winter months approach, it’s important to ensure that our little ones stay healthy and strong. It’s usually the time of year when so many of our kiddos get sick. The cold weather can often bring with it a host of health challenges for children, but with the right precautions and care, we can keep them in good shape throughout the season.

While adults may get cold occasionally, it’s typical for children to suffer from up to ten colds in a year. This is because they still haven’t developed comprehensive immunity to the many cold viruses that exist in our surroundings. As a parent myself, I recognise how this can be a stressful period since having sick children leads to multiple visits to the doctor, taking medications, losing sleep, missing school and other activities, as well as taking time off work. Nothing is more upsetting to parents than seeing their healthy, lively child become ill and unhappy.

By following some simple yet effective tips for keeping children healthy during winter, we can ensure that they enjoy the season to its fullest while staying protected from common winter health challenges.


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1-Wash your hands (Encourage Regular Handwashing and Good Hygiene Practices)-

Promoting regular hand washing and instilling good hygiene practices are essential for maintaining a healthy environment. By teaching proper hand washing techniques, tamariki can develop a lifelong habit that helps prevent the spread of germs. Additionally, the use of hand sanitizers can provide an extra layer of protection, especially in situations where soap and water are not readily available. Let’s empower our tamariki with the knowledge and tools they need to stay healthy and practice good hygiene every day.

2- Nutritious Diet with Immune-Boosting Foods-


Introducing a balanced diet is crucial for tamariki, especially during the winter season when their immune systems need an extra boost. By incorporating immune-boosting foods into their daily meals, you can help support their overall well-being and keep them healthy all season long. One of the key elements of a winter diet for tamariki is including a variety of vitamin-rich foods.

Vitamins like A, C, and E are known to play a critical role in enhancing our immune system. To ensure your little ones get these essential nutrients, consider adding seasonal fruits and vegetables to their plates. Oranges, strawberries, kiwis, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach are fantastic options that are bursting with vitamins.

Additionally, don’t forget about other important food groups such as lean proteins like chicken or beans, or lentils. These provide essential amino acids necessary for growth and development while also boosting the immune system. It’s essential to encourage your children’s consumption of whole grains too! Whole grain bread or cereals provide fiber and nutrients such as zinc that further aid in strengthening the body’s defense mechanisms against illnesses. Lastly but equally important is keeping them hydrated throughout the day. Water should be the go-to choice but herbal teas or freshly squeezed fruit juices (without added sugars) can be great alternatives during colder months.


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3- Sleep and Rest for Strong Immunity-

A well-rested body can greatly contribute to a strong immune system, helping tamariki stay healthy throughout the colder months. Firstly, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is key. Aim to establish regular bedtimes and wake-up times that align with their natural circadian rhythms. This consistency will not only improve their quality of sleep but also support their overall health.

Creating a calm and soothing environment before bedtime is another vital aspect of promoting good sleep habits during winter. Encourage winding down activities such as reading a book to help them relax before bed. Ensure bedding is suitable for cooler temperatures- warm blankets or duvets can help maintain optimal warmth without overheating. It’s advisable to discourage screen time at least an hour before bedtime.

Remember, establishing consistent sleep routines may take time initially but will eventually become second nature! By prioritising adequate rest during the winter months through these tips and tricks, you’ll be supporting your tamariki’s immune system while fostering healthy sleeping habits. So, let’s ensure our little ones get the sleep and rest they need to keep their immunity strong this winter!

4- Regular Physical Activity and Outdoor Play-


Although it may seem contradictory, research suggests allowing children to play outdoors even in cold and gloomy weather can actually benefit their immune systems. While cold temperatures often make us want to stay indoors, it is important for children to maintain an active lifestyle. Engaging in high levels of physical activity has been found to have positive effects on the immune system in young children.

Regular and moderate exercise is crucial for a healthy immune system. Therefore, it is recommended to encourage children to exercise regularly, as it helps them to improve their energy levels on cold winter days. Invite them to practice their favourite activities, such as running, jogging, cycling, or jumping rope.

If outdoor play is limited, find ways to get moving indoors, such as dancing and yoga sessions that promote physical activity, there are plenty of options available. Regular exercise helps boost the immune system and keeps everyone energised.

Remember that regular exercise is essential for your tamariki’s overall development – physically as well as mentally. It promotes stronger bones and muscles while improving concentration levels and reducing stress.


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5- Keep Your Home Environment Clean and Well-Ventilated-

As the winter season approaches, it becomes even more crucial to keep your home environment clean and well-ventilated. Not only does this contribute to a healthy lifestyle, but it also helps prevent dust allergies. Indoor air quality is often compromised during winter due to closed windows and doors, which results in poor ventilation. This can lead to the buildup of pollutants such as dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and other allergens in your living space.

Here are some tips to help maintain a clean and well-ventilated home environment during winter:

  • Regular Cleaning: Make sure you vacuum carpets, rugs, upholstery, and curtains regularly using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Dusting Surfaces: Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth or microfiber duster at least once a week. Don’t forget about hard-to-reach areas such as ceiling fans, light fixtures, and bookshelves.
  • Proper Humidity Levels: Use a humidifier or dehumidifier depending on the moisture levels in your home. Maintaining proper humidity helps prevent the growth of mold spores while keeping nasal passages moist for better respiratory health.
  • Clean Bedding Frequently: Wash your bedsheets, pillowcases, blankets, and comforters regularly in hot water to kill dust mites effectively.
  • Keep Pets Groomed: Regularly grooming your pets helps minimize the shedding of fur that can contribute to indoor allergens.
  • Ventilate Your Home: Open windows for short periods when weather permits or use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove excess moisture from cooking or showering.
  • Air Purifiers: Consider utilizing air purifiers throughout your home.

Remember that prevention is key when it comes to maintaining good indoor air quality and preventing dust allergies. By following these winter home hygiene tips, you can create a clean and well-ventilated living space that promotes better respiratory health for you and your loved ones.


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6- Dress Your Children Appropriately for the Cold Weather-


When it comes to cold weather, dressing children properly is of utmost importance. Ensuring that kids are dressed appropriately for winter not only keeps them comfortable but also protects them from potential health risks associated with extreme temperatures.

Tamariki’s winter clothing plays a crucial role in keeping them warm and safe during colder months. From insulated jackets and cozy sweaters to hats, gloves, and boots, these essential pieces of clothing provide insulation and protect against harsh elements.

Properly dressing tamariki for winter involves layering their clothing. Layering allows for better temperature regulation as it traps heat between the layers while allowing moisture to escape. This ensures that children stay warm without overheating or becoming too sweaty.