Consumer Reports: Helping your kids stay healthy during winter

Winter is here and as any parent knows, it’s also called “sick kid season.”

Winter is here and as any parent knows, it’s also called “sick kid season.”

Doctors’ offices and urgent cares are packed with kids suffering from sniffly noses and the flu to COVID and RSV.

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Take a look through Consumer Reports’ winter survival guide for parents to improve their chances of keeping their children healthy.

This time of year, many parents are battling a virus triple threat.

“Healthcare facilities are already being overwhelmed by sick kids - especially with RSV which causes cold-like symptoms and sometimes serious respiratory problems —especially in babies,” said Kevin Loria with Consumer Reports.

Keeping kids healthy comes down to the basics – Show your kids how to properly wash their hands - scrubbing for 20 seconds, when they get home, after using the bathroom and before eating.

“While there’s no magic way to keep your kids from ever getting sick, there are some things you can do to better your odds - like keeping your kid’s vaccinationsup to date.”

That includes the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, and for infants, it’s important to speak to your pediatrician about the new RSV shot, which may lessen the severity of an RSV infection.

If your child does end up getting sick, focus on making them as comfortable as possible.

“Kids generally need time to get better - so let your child rest, watch some movies, perhaps. And very importantly, keep them hydrated.”

And your grandma was right - research suggests that chicken soup may give you relief from common cold symptoms - easing throat soreness and preventing dehydration.

As for medication, check with your doctor first, but it’s usually ok to use children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But steer clear of cough medicine - it doesn’t work well for them and can even be dangerous. Last fall, CVS pulled some cold medicines after the FDA said the active ingredient doesn’t work.

Never ignore the signs of an emergency. If your child has a fever of 105 degrees, is showing signs of dehydration or is having trouble breathing, take them to the ER. Any fever in newborns, under two months, is also an emergency.

About the Author

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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