A Parent’s Guide to Conquering the Cold and Flu Season

A Parent's Guide to Conquering the Cold and Flu Season

As we settle into winter, the dreaded cold and flu season is upon us. As parents, it can be challenging to navigate the missed childcare days, coughs and running noses. However, with little preparation and some healthy habits you can help your family survive the cold and flu season unscathed.


Young children often haven’t built up an immunity to common viruses which tend to be more prevalent during the winter seasons. According to Raising Children Network, on average pre-schoolers can expect up to 6-12 colds per year. Just like you, our main priority at Young Academics is to keep children safe and healthy in our environments. By proactively taking steps ahead of time to prepare your family for the cooler season you will be ready for whenever illness strikes.


The first line of defence for colds and flu is a strong immune system. Ensure children are receiving a balanced healthy diet including lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. All these foods are rich in minerals and vitamins to support immune function. Perhaps even consider adding immune boosting foods such as ginger, turmeric, garlic and yoghurt into meals.


Hand Hygiene

One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs is to regularly wash hands. Teach children proper handwashing techniques, including using soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds. To encourage this, make the process engaging and fun by incorporating fun soaps, different smells or songs to go along with this. Hand washing should occur after sneezing, coughing, before meals and after using the bathroom.


Maintaining a Healthy Environment

Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common household items and surfaces can help in preventing the spread of viruses and germs. Focus attention on light switches, door handles and any shared items such as toys. Remind children to cover their mouths and noses when coughing/sneezing or using tissues/elbows.



Ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. Layering is key at childcare as it enables children to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day.


Healthy Habits

Rest is an essential factor of a strong immune system. Make sure children are getting enough restful sleep and establish a consistent bedtime routine. Provide nutritious snacks and meals throughout the day to fuel their bodies. Hydration is just as important, remind them to stay hydrated throughout the day.


Stay Informed

Familiarise yourself with the common symptoms associated with flu and colds, enabling you to act quickly if your child falls ill. Contact your GP at the first sign of illness and keep your child at home to prevent the spread of illness to others. Remember to stay informed of your childcares sickness policies so you can prepare for alternative care options if required.


Surviving the cold and flu season often requires a combination of proactive measures and healthy habits being put in place. By focusing on hand hygiene, clothing, clean environments and immunity you can minimise the impact of cold and flu on your family.