Keeping the bugs at bay this winter

keeping bugs at bay

Every year when winter hits, we wonder how can we keep our children from getting sick. It’s a good question but there are no easy answers. Cold and flu viruses can spread like wildfire through homes, daycare and schools during the cooler months and there’s no way to guarantee your children will avoid them.

Don’t give up without a fight though. You can help keep the bugs at bay by following a few of these ideas:

Healthy habits

Regular hand washing is the simplest, most effective way to get rid of cold and flu bugs. Teach your child to wash their hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet, before meals and snacks and after school, the playground and friends’ houses.

Sick days

It’s a good idea to keep your children home from school when they’re sick. Most schools require children with a fever, the flu, an upper respiratory infection, vomiting, diarrhoea, an eye infection or a contagious rash to stay home until these symptoms subside.

Eat, sleep and play well

Offer your child a variety of healthy foods so they get the nutrients they need. Make sure they get plenty of sleep each night, along with plenty of physical activity and fresh air every day.

When sickness hits

Children may average six to eight colds a year so it’s highly likely your child will bring home a few bugs this season. When it happens, make them as comfortable as possible and remember these tips to help them feel better:

  • Rest: The more your child gets, the sooner they’ll recover. Encourage relaxing activities like reading, videos, puzzles, drawing or a quiet game.
  • Rehydrate: Children lose body fluid quickly when sick, so encourage them to drink water, juice, electrolyte solutions or milk.
  • Relieve: If they’re really uncomfortable, give your child paracetamol, such as Pamol®. Paracetamol is the recommended first line medicine for relief from pain and fever in children1, and the only pain and fever medicine recommended for use in babies under 12 months without a doctor’s advice2.
  • Review: While most viruses clear up within a few days, some turn into more serious conditions that require prompt treatment. If you are concerned about your child’s health, contact your healthcare professional for advice.

Snuggle time

When children are under the weather, they need extra TLC, so make time for cuddles. Cozy up and watch a video together, give plenty of hugs and if you normally have a “no kids in the big bed” rule at night, think about temporarily relaxing the policy.

The big picture

When taking care of a sick, miserable child, try to remember that most illnesses pass in a week or so and all of them will ultimately help strengthen your child’s immune system. As your child gets older and builds up immunity to viruses, they’ll clock fewer sick days. In the meantime, keep up the hand washing and hugs, and stock up on tissues.

References: 1. Avoiding medication errors in children: a practical guide for healthcare professionals. BPJ issue 29, Jul 2010. 2. Medsafe Label Statements Database Edition 1.15 Dec 2014.

PAMOL® for the treatment of child pain and fever. Always read the label and use as directed. Incorrect use can be harmful. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. ® Registered Trademark. Aspen Pharmacare C/- Healthcare Logistics, Auckland, TAPS PP6323

Carol Gardiner

Carol Gardiner is the Pamol® Brand Manager and proud Mum.

Join more than 20,000 families

As we build a strong community of like minds:

  • Get the best tips from the best experts
  • Recipes, parties, crafts and activities
  • Special offers, competitions and more...

Sit back and relax and let us deliver to your inbox.

Categorised: Grown Ups

You might also be interested in:

Winter is coming… and so are the colds!

Common colds are something hard to avoid during the winter months. Young children may get between six to ten colds per…

Eating to Build Immunity

Building immunity is vital as we are all more susceptible to colds and flu in the winter – building your…

5 steps to optimal family health this winter

Winter is high season for colds, viral infections, asthma exacerbations and the flu, but you can reduce the risk of…

Be prepared and get your family through winter illnesses

The autumn sun is still caressing us with its warming rays but the chill in the early mornings and the…

Welcome to Kiwi Families

We bring thousands of families together to learn from each other.

Join a community raising great kids: