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Have a sick-free holiday

The winter holidays mean a lot of things: hot spiced cider, gluttonous feasts, out-of-town family, insane holiday sales. But it can also mean a whirlwind of sickness is heading your way. Dr. Ruben Rucoba of Wheaton Pediatrics told us simply listening to dear old Grandma is the best way to avoid holiday sniffles, but here’s a quick list of stay-healthy tips anyway:

  • Eat right It seems simple enough, but when there are holiday feasts galore, it’s hard to keep this sentiment in mind. “Proper nutrition is critical,” Dr. Rucoba reminds us, even if ’tis the season for overdoing it.

  • Wash little hands frequently Also obvious, but let’s face it – kids aren’t the best at maintaining basic hygiene, but the doctor’s orders are to wash, wash, wash! Scrubbing grubby fingers after school, after playing, before eating and especially after using the bathroom are vital to cold season survival.

  • Get out and exercise The weather outside may be frightful, but that’s no excuse for not breaking a sweat. even opting to take stairs instead of the elevator is a way of keeping an active mindset for yourself and your family. The Chicago winter doesn’t erase the fact that adequate exercise is still important to the health of both you and your child.

  • Rest up “Kids need to get enough sleep,” Rucoba says, “That is something, with the holidays coming up, is a problem. There’s traveling, there’s late nights. They’re thrown out of their rhythm.” Holiday cheer and jitters may have them up late at night, but a good night’s rest is vital to a sick-free winter.

  • Be a school-smart family It’s a lot easier to have control over what germ-infested messes occur at home, but what about when the kids are away at school? Teach your kids the importance of being clean, and they’ll be able to take those lessons with them when you aren’t there to watch them.

    Dr. Rucoba says things like washing hands throughout the school day or not sharing food or drink is a vital part of keeping bugs at bay, especially at school where sickness can catch like wildfire to dry grass. And be a smart parent yourself. If your child is sick, keep them at home. “You want to do the right thing, and keep them home,” says Rucoba. “They need to stay home so they don’t get anyone else sick.”

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