During the fall, when colds and the flu abound, it is likely that there will be a virus or two passing between the children at your child care center. Children are especially prone to picking up these colds from each other, and if your young child is new at a daycare center, they may be exposed to many viruses that they have not yet built up an immunity to. While you may have to nurse your little one through a few colds this season, there are several things you can do to minimize their impact and keep your child as healthy as possible.
Consider Extended Breastfeeding
While older generations may tell you it is pointless to continue breastfeeding past one year, recent research has found that antibodies in a mother's milk actually increase during the second year of breastfeeding, and toddlers who breastfeed tend to be ill less often than their counterparts who stop breastfeeding.
If you are starting a new daycare when your child is more than a year old, but you have not stopped breastfeeding yet, you may consider continuing to breastfeed until they are fully established at their daycare center. You may want to wean from daytime feedings and just offer a nighttime and morning breastfeeding session to keep your baby's immune system strong.
Increase Your Child's Vitamin C Intake
Children, just like adults, can benefit from a vitamin c boost during the fall and winter. As opposed to giving your child citrus juices, you should consider feeding them full fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. The pulp in the fruit will help clean their digestive track while the vitamin c gives their immune system an extra boost.
If your child will not eat citrus fruits, 100% juice is the next best option. Alternatively, you can talk to their pediatrician about vitamin c supplements.
Don't Send Your Child to Daycare Sick
It may be difficult to stay home from work with your child, but it is important that you do not send them back to school until they are fully recovered from their illness. Children can remain contagious for a few days after their symptoms have cleared. This means that another child can catch an illness from your child, and then when they return to school, give it back to your child. To help stop the cycle, you should keep you child home from school until they are fully recovered, and a day or two longer if possible.
Dealing with sick children is never fun, but with a little diligence, fall illnesses can be fought before they get out of control. For further assistance, contact a local child care center, such as Old Dominion Day School Inc.