Winter: 5 Ways to Stay Healthy
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With the weather getting colder, there can be an increased likelihood of getting seasonal illnesses, like a cold or the flu. Try these suggested activities as ways to keep your family healthy during the upcoming winter season.
- Practice prevention and treatment: Learn some preventative steps to fighting the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the simple act of hand washing is like a do-it-yourself vaccine. Help younger kids learn when and how to wash their hands, and then practice washing your hands with them. With good hand hygiene being important to prevent colds, learn more about causes of the common cold, as part of your prevention strategy. And find out more about what kinds of flu vaccines your kids can get. If someone does get sick, check out what the symptoms and treatment options are for the flu, and see the CDC’s recommendations for caring for someone who gets the flu.
- Learn more about vaccines: Although the peak of influenza prevalence can vary, flu typically peaks between December and February, says the CDC, with the second week in December marking National Influenza Vaccination Week. To prepare for flu season, the CDC recommends being vaccinated once a year to protect yourself and your children 6 months and older. You can check out how to help kids cope with doctor appointments and injections, as well as review the Food and Drug Administration’s guidance to parents on vaccines for their kids.
- Learn some microbiology: Help kids understand how washing their hands can help keep them healthy by playing online games that focus on microscopic organisms that can cause disease. You can see if they’d like to play interactive games that can facilitate understanding how vaccines work. Older kids may be interested in investigating the difference between a cold and the flu, or checking out some CDC graphical images of a generic influenza virus.
Read about winter illnesses: With your kids, read about the flu online, with characters like the CDC’s Flu Knew. You and your kids also can read up online on what “germs” are. Older kids can read up on flu facts.
Make a poster: To stress the importance of good hygiene and healthy habits, make a poster with your kids. Check out examples of posters online on the topic of good hygiene from agencies that include the CDC and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ask your kids what their theme will be and how they intend to display in the home.
These are a few ideas for the many activities you can enjoy with your kids while learning more about staying healthy during the winter season.
This feature is based on a blog post that originally appeared on free.ed.gov, a site that is now retired. Please visit ed.gov/FREE for more information.
Last Modified: 12/01/2015