Winter illnesses are usually mild, but they can be more serious for young children and vulnerable family members. Here are five ways to keep your children under age five healthy this season:
Check Vaccination Status Ensure your child is up to date with vaccinations. This helps protect them and prevents outbreaks at schools and nurseries. Don't worry if they've missed vaccines, catch-up options are available. Vaccinations also shield your family and friends and reduce the risk of missed work or childcare due to illness. The HSE is providing a nasal spray version of the Flu vaccine for children aged 2 to 17 and our doctors are recommending that all their little patients book into our flu clinics and avail of it. .
Teach Good Hygiene Encourage your child to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap, use tissues for coughs and sneezes, and stay away from others when feeling unwell. These habits reduce the risk of infections, including COVID-19, respiratory illnesses, and stomach bugs.
4. Know Common Infections: Familiarize yourself with common winter infections, such as flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Scarlet Fever. While most are mild and treatable at home, some cases may worsen, requiring medical attention.
5. School and Preschool Support: If your child is unwell, consider keeping them home from school or nursery to prevent the spread of infections. Minor respiratory symptoms might not require absence, but tummy bugs with vomiting and diarrhea should keep them home for 48 hours after symptoms cease.
By following these steps, you'll help protect your child's health and the well-being of those around you. Your efforts can contribute to a healthier winter season for all.