Practicing Healthy Habits
Taking good care of ourselves is second nature to many of us, but for our children, healthy habits need to be taught. Young children are active, hands-on explorers who need to touch everything. Their immune systems are not well developed, and they have not yet mastered their cleanliness routines so they are more at risk for illness than adults. Sometimes, the threat of exposure goes beyond colds and minor ailments to the risk of serious illness.
The best way to avoid having a sick child is to try to prevent exposure and practice healthy living. From infancy on, we can help our children develop lifelong healthy habits. Of course, it isn’t that hard to know what to do; the hard part is doing what we know and following through with our children. If we do the best we can, chances are that we — and our children — will lead healthy lives.
Teaching Young Children
Teaching our children about a healthy lifestyle begins with leading by example. When you can, include your child in the preparation of healthy meals and your regular exercise routine. In addition to having healthy habits, explain why you do things the way you do.
Explain to your child that taking good care of her body means getting lots of exercise; plenty of rest; eating good, healthy foods; and practicing good hygiene.
Learn more by viewing the following information on incorporating healthy habits into your children's lives:
Download these fun posters to help your child learn healthy habits. (This PDF contains two posters on separate pages.)
Influenza Health Alert:
Currently everyone is concerned about the spread of influenza. The best practices to stop the spread of infection are those that we use everyday. Continue to remind and assist your children to:
- Practice good handwashing often and thoroughly
- Cover their mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing – make sure tissues are available.
These may seem like simple responses to a complex problem, but the best actions are often easy to implement. They are also easy to forget and reminders to your family can be very useful.
To stay up-to-date on the Center for Disease Control response to influenza and for further guidance, please see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm.