Kids are generous with their germs. In fact, sometimes kids can seem like walking petri dishes. They come in contact with lots of germy things every day, which is one reason they get sick often. The average preschool-age child has at least six colds a year, babies and toddlers have 8–10 colds a year before the age of 2, and preschool-age kids get about nine colds a year. Research suggests that children with older siblings and those who attend day care have more colds.
About the Common Cold
Most colds are caused by viruses. More than 200 types of viruses can cause colds or upper respiratory tract infections. The symptoms vary from child to child and illness to illness, but generally, you may see some combination of stuffy or runny noses, sneezing, cough, sore throat, achy ears, headache, red eyes, and occasionally fever. Symptoms usually last anywhere from a few days to a week or more.
4 Ways Kids Can Avoid Colds
There is no cure for the common cold, but can you prevent — or at least reduce the frequency of—colds in kids? Not entirely, but these simple tips can keep the cooties away:
1. Wash hands regularly.
It takes just 20 seconds of hand-washing with warm, soapy water to get rid of germs. Because kids may not know how long that is, have them sing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing.
2. Boost Immunity.
Making sure they are eating well, staying active, and getting enough sleep will give kids an immunity boost. Foods such as blueberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and spinach have immune-boosting power. If your kids won’t touch fruits or veggies, supplementing with a multivitamin can help.
3. Cover that cough.
Cold and flu viruses can become airborne when someone sneezes or coughs. Teach your child to cover a sneeze or a cough with a tissue or with the inside of her elbow. Covering sneezes with hands can actually spread the virus.
4. Keep hands off eyes.
If your child touches something that someone with a cold has touched and then touches his eyes or mouth, the cold virus can enter his body. Other infections such as conjunctivitis can also be transmitted through touching the eyes.
Nothing can cure a cold, but these products can help boost immunity and ease symptoms to make kids feel better.
Genexa Children’s Organic Cold Crush addresses symptoms associated with the common cold, such as chest congestion, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and sneezing.
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Kids+ Probiotics contains vitamin C, vitamin D, and prebiotic fiber to help kids maintain a healthy immune system.
Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears Organics Immunity Health supports immune health with a blend of vitamins and herbs, including vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea all in an organic gummy.