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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | Your family winter health guide

Your family winter health guide

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

Unfortunately winter means the onset of flu season and coughs and colds. Whilst some minor illnesses can merely be annoying, others can lay you up in bed for 2 weeks. Here’s how to keep you and your family as healthy as possible this winter:

Hand washing is key

It’s never too early to encourage thorough hand washing. Teach children to make lots of bubbles with soap on their hands (this makes it more fun!) and rinse thoroughly. A good hand wash should last around 20 seconds, or one sing-through of the Happy Birthday song. It’s good practice to wash your hands when you return home from being out- kids can do so too.

Carry hand sanitiser

Using hand gel became popular during Covid, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t become part of daily life- viruses are everywhere and sanitiser can save you from picking one up. When you’re out and about, kids can also use sanitiser, particularly before eating (make sure it is fully rubbed in).

Layer up

Staying warm is crucial for staying well during winter. Thermal layers keep you warm without adding bulk to your outfit. Kids will also benefit from layers of clothing, and waterproof layers will keep them dry while playing outdoors.

Keep warm

Having the heating on all day can be worrying during the cost of living crisis. Instead, try heating the rooms most used- the living room and bedroom maybe, or only turning the heating on an hour before everybody returns home. Turning down the thermostat by just a few degrees can also save money.

Stock up the medicine cabinet

Make sure your medicine supplies are ready for whatever eventualities may arise. Having children’s paracetamol and ibuprofen at the ready is a must, as well as paracetamol, sore throat lozenges, cough medicine and diarrhoea rehydration sachets for the adults.

Get fresh air

Despite the cold weather, fresh air and sunshine is vital for mental and physical health. Kids need an hour of outdoors time a day, to work off their energy and enjoy different kinds of play. For adults, exercise is vital for good mental and physical health. You don’t have to indulge in anything major- a walk through the woods kicking through leaves with the kids works just as well.

Get enough rest

Having enough sleep is crucial for staying healthy. It can be tempting to stay up later to enjoy some child-free tv time, but your immune system will thank you for turning in earlier. If you having trouble easing into sleep, try reading a book before bed. Some people find that magnesium supplements can help them drift off, too.

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