Presents, pie, Santa, oh my! There is no question about it, the holidays are “…the most wonderful time of the year”, especially for your child–except if they get sick. Not only is it cold and flu season, there are several sneaky ways the season of celebration can weaken your child’s immune system, putting them at increased risk for getting sick.

 

Here are 3 holiday health hazards and how you can defend your family:

 

GERMY HANDS

One of the most common ways kids and adults get sick is by rubbing their nose or eyes after touching someone or something that is contaminated with the cold virus. Nearly 22 million school days each year are missed due to colds—but many colds could be prevented with simple hand washing. (1) Teach your kids to wash their hands the right way (with soap and water and for 20 seconds) and frequently—before meals, and after going to the bathroom and sneezing. (2)

 

DIET DILEMMA

If your child is eating too many Christmas cookies and candy canes, his immunity may be dropping as fast as the scale is tipping upwards. A high-sugar, out-of-balance diet puts kids at greater risk for colds and flu. Out of sight equals out of mouth, so keep your child’s favorite treats tucked away in cupboards or in your refrigerator or freezer. Try to keep your family on their normal meal and activity schedule as much as you can. To make up for potential nutrient short-falls in your child’s diet, provide them with a supplement to support the immune system, like Yummi Bears Organics Immunity Health gummy vitamins. Armed with additional immune-supportive nutrients like vitamins C and E as well as folic acid and Echinacea, you can feel better about holiday indulgences.

 

LACK OF SLEEP

If all the excitement of the holidays is robbing your child of precious shut-eye, their immune system may become compromised. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven—and kids should be getting even more sleep than that! (2) Don’t feel like the Grinch by trying to keep your child on her regular sleep schedule. If he or she misses out on sleep on one night, try to make up for it the next.

 

To Boost Your Child’s Immunity, enter to win Yummi Bears Organic Immunity Health in our 12 Days of Immunity Giveaway Sweepstakes.

 

Sources:

(1) http://www.itsasnap.org/snap/pdfs/SNAP%20Toolkit%20FINAL%204.pdf

(2) http://www.cdc.gov/bam/teachers/documents/epi_4_hand_wash.pdf

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629403/

Caroline Didlake earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences from California State University, Chico. Caroline has experience working with low income families through the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion. She believes in making nutrition fun and accessible to everyone. In her free time you will find her surfing our California coastline, experimenting with healthy recipes and going for early morning runs before work.

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