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Health Tips for Toddlers: Keeping Kids Healthy at School


With preschool on in full swing and nursery admissions around the corner, one of my main concerns these days is keeping our daughter healthy and well through the school year. While I can’t prevent the odd cold and cough and in fact, I shouldn’t since she does need to build up her immunity, I can help her stay healthy and strong.

So, here I am, sharing a few health tips for your toddlers and preschoolers:

1. Wash Hands

First things first, I’m a big believer in good, old-fashioned hand washing.  However, you may want to stay away from those liquid soaps that contain triclosan. Read Katie’s post to find out why.

Simple bar soap and plenty of water is good enough. Teach your toddler to ward off germs by washing hands before eating, after playing, going to the bathroom and after coming in from outside.

In school, while you can’t be around to check if she’s washing hands or not, you can talk to the teacher about it and generally ask your toddler if she washed her hands while at school.

2. Feed ‘Em a Variety of Foods

Build up immunity and resistance to infection naturally by ensuring your preschooler gets plenty of fruits, vegetables and water.

Avoid processed foods, junk, high sodium or high fat foods and instead, concentrate on putting together a wholesome healthy meal plan for your always-on-the-go toddler.

Here are a few posts to help you plan a meal and feed a picky eater:

Making Meals for Toddlers Fun and Enjoyable {The Mom Writes}

Menu Planning Made Simple for the Busy WAHM { The Mom Writes}

Tips for Packing Affordable School Lunches {Life as Mom}

3. Coughing and Sneezing How-tos

Hygiene is essential. Teach your toddler to cough and sneeze into her elbow instead of her palm to prevent the spread of germs.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly they learn how to do that. Mine even checks grown-ups who visit us, much to my embarrassment.

4. Involve the School

This might be easier said than done, especially if you don’t want to be the parent who always complains. However, you can be an involved parent and not an irritating one by gently addressing the issue of sick kids in class.

It makes a lot of sense to talk to your toddler’s preschool teachers and school authorities and have them send sick kids’ home. It may work or it may not, but there is no harm in trying.

5. Staying Healthy with Sleep

A regular school routine and plenty of sleep allows a toddler to recharge his batteries, get much-needed rest and be ready for the day. Lack of sleep, late nights or an irregular routine plays havoc with an adult’s immune system so imagine what it would do to a toddler.

6. Recovering from Illness

If your preschooler does fall ill, which despite all the above precautions, they most likely will, here are a few tips to help them recover easily:

  • Chicken soup does wonders for a cold. It works like a charm with my toddler and helps clear up a clogged nasal passage or a congested chest magically.
  • Similarly, I avoid mucuous-producing foods such as rice, milk and yogurt. Really helps.
  • While rest is the best medicine for a toddler, if yours feels good enough to play and dance about, let him do that. However, make sure that he uses a hanky to wipe his nose, sneezes into his elbow and washes his hands after wiping his nose or before eating.
  • I’ve found it easier to make my toddler rest if I let her watch a DVD or read to her. So, maybe, you could make an exception and let your unwell preschooler watch an extra DVD or hour of television to keep him in bed.
  • I also try to avoid OTC medicines until I can see that my toddler is miserable and the fever continues to rise. Usually, some rest, a bowl of soup and plenty of cuddling works.

How do you keep your kids healthy during school year?


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  1. Oh dear, random illnesses from school!! Avoidable to an extent, I think involving the school is a great idea, especially on occasions like Parent Teacher meetings when suggestions from parents are welcome, so it wouldn’t seem like complaining or nagging. Great tips!

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