Sick Child Redux - A Parent’s Guide to Avoiding Seasonal Illnesses

by Samantha on October 7, 2012

It’s back.

T’is the season and all that jazz.

Let’s all take a collective deep breath for that time of the year that heralds in what we despise the most: the sick child.

It’s not that we don’t love our kids; no, that’s not the case at all. We love them to tears. It’s the pesky bugs that they bring home with them courtesy of school, daycare and otherwise that make our collective lives more than just a tad miserable.

What is it about children that makes them veritable magnets for germs? Do viruses have a radar-like ability to target those who are 10 years old and under?

Every year, without fail, it starts in the fall and doesn’t end until spring. During this time, parents are put to the test, having to deal with every bug, germ, and virus that get’s blown their way (often courtesy of a healthy sneeze). With all of these bugs flying around (literally and figuratively) it’s surprising that we haven’t been infested by a swarm of locusts. But perhaps that’s on the horizon as well, the way things are going.

Now to add to this nightmare, I recently received the obligatory annual note from the school that was sent home to all parents that lice has been found on a few kids. Ugh. Here we go again, every year, having to deal with the peskiest of pests. This reality has allowed me to fully understand the literal term for nit-picking.

Between lice, ear infections, the flu and every other manner of annoyances, it makes for an interesting school year, to say the least.

There are, however, some steps that you can take to avoid or at least lessen the amount of times that you’ll be dealing with a sick child.

Here 5 tips for parents that will make the flu season a bit more bearable:

1) Hand-washing - This applies to both your kids and you. Lead by example so that our kids get into this healthy habit and make sure that the little ones are washing their hands more often than not.

2) Clean kids’ toys and blankets - This may include washing their favorite stuffed animals and blankets often so that they don’t get a buildup of germs, viruses and otherwise.

3) Do NOT “share and share alike” - We all do it - share food and drinks with our kids. They’re our kids, after all. This time of the year, however, it’s a good idea to refrain from giving your little one a sip of your drink or letting them eat off your fork. Wait until the bugs and viruses pass before resuming this practice.

4) Limit playdates - As tempting as it is to shuttle your child off to someone else’s home, or have a child over to entertain your little one, avoid it during this time of the year. Your child’s friend may be harboring one of the season’s most virulent strains so why take the risk? On the flip side, if your child starts showing signs of illness, best to keep them “quarantined” (from playdates) until the storm has passed.

5) Eat healthy - Now more than ever, you and your children need the proper nutrients and vitamins to not only avoid getting sick, but to recover quickly if they do fall ill. Make sure to feed your family a healthy dose of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those that are rich in vitamin C. If your kids don’t take supplementary vitamins, now may be a good time to start.

Do you have any other tips or advice to share about how to keep kids from catching every bug around during the school year? Please share in the comments below!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar ElectraDaddy October 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Excellent tips as always!


Russ November 7, 2012 at 5:24 am

I rarely comment, but I browsed a few of the comments here Sick child season is here again - tips for avoiding
seasonal illness. I actually do have some questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it just me or do some of the remarks appear like they are coming from brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you post a list of all of your social community sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?


Samantha November 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hi Russ,
Thanks for stopping by and for your interest in my blog and writing. I’d be happy to chat with you further about this post. To reach me on other social networking sites, kindly follow me on Twitter @samkj27, my Facebook page at, Pinterest: You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter by providing your email address to the “Subscribe to MMM’s Newsletter” field on the upper right-hand side of this page. As well, I’ve recently started a Forum page for readers who are interested in starting their own discussions regarding anything on the site, or anything parenting related as well. Check it out via the link on the homepage as well. Looking forward to connecting with you.


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