i love getting out of the apartment this time of year with the kids and really exploring the city. despite the winter cold and wind, there is just so much to do and see and eat during the holiday season, and being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer is always good for the soul, regardless of the temperature outside.
we try our very hardest to keep germs and sickness away during the winter months when it seems to be more present everywhere. while everyone including us can occasionally get sick, i’ve teamed up with Doctor On Demand to share my 5 tips for keeping you and your little ones healthy this winter season.
5 TIPS FOR SURVIVING A HEALTHY WINTER SEASON WITH LITTLE ONES:
1. HAND WASHING + HAND SANITIZER
it seems so obvious, but sometimes it can be easy to forget just how many times we should be washing everyone’s hands during the day. in addition to before and after meals, using the bathroom or coming in from being away, we try to get a few extra hand washing sessions in there every day. something that helps make it fun and keep the little ones scrubbing a bit longer, is singing a song together while we do it. sometimes if it’s a short song, we sing it twice, the second time making it silly and super fast, which makes the experience more fun for them. choosing specific times to wash hands will make it a routine before you know it. after many many many times, when we get home, eleanor and samson take off their shoes and head straight to the bathroom to wash their hands now! it’s amazing!
i also buy those hand sanitizer bottles and put them all over our apartment, so we have little stations set up in each room. i also stock the mini hand sanitizer bottles in every bag and coat pocket. the minute we get off the subway train or are leaving a playground, we scrub our hands with hand sanitizer until we can get to a proper sink with soap. it’s become a big habit for us and the kids even remind us sometimes as we’re leaving the park or the train station for their hand sanitizer. ;)
2. DOCTOR ON DEMAND
we first tried the Doctor On Demand app a few months ago, when we were upstate for a few days on a work project and had to deal with a crazy bug bite while away from our home. if you aren’t familiar, Doctor On Demand is a healthcare service that provides video visits with board certified physicians as well as lactation consultants and doctorate-level psychologists, all from your smartphone or computer. the average wait time is just 90 seconds. because their physicians are available 24/7, you have access right away to their advice no matter when it is or where you are. so with the bug bite, we were able to video chat with a doctor late at night, and they were able to send a prescription to a nearby pharmacy, even though we weren’t anywhere near our regular pharmacy or home. it was amazing! we have used the service 3 more times since our first call two months ago, and each time has been a great experience.
with cold and flu season here, i imagine Doctor On Demand can also be a really helpful tool since a doctor can hear and see you or your child’s cough straight away, which helps with figuring out what is wrong. i don’t know about you, but sometimes it can be difficult to get an appointment the same day the cough appears and i often worry myself silly with possible outcomes until i’m able to see my doctor. with a tool like this, it’s comforting to know i can get a second opinion through a video chat right away so i can help take the best care of my child. whether it’s being advised to take them in or get a prescription, or to just sit tight and wait it out a few days. Doctor On Demand is a great option that can be a fraction of the cost of an urgent care visit, and a helpful tool for this winter with little ones.
3. DRESSING IN LAYERS
sometimes dressing appropriately in the winter can be tricky with kids, because they won’t keep their hat or mittens on, or they’re running around the playground and feel hot and sweaty in their coat. we’ve found that dressing everyone in several layers works really well for a day out. this way, if they do ask to take their coat off at the park because they are running around and sweating from all the bundles, we know they are still dressed warmly. base layers are really great for this, particularly merino wool. we’ll put those kinds of layers underneath their jeans and t-shirt, and since it’s breathable and light weight, it doesn’t get sweaty. and don’t forget to take an extra bag to carry all the layers as they come off!4. NOT SHARING THE SAME DRINKING CUP OR UTENSILS WITH FRIENDS
we live in such a small shared space, that once one of us gets sick, it’s not long before another one of us catches it. but we try our best to make sure we’re doing our part to keep germs contained. because germs are often shared so well amongst little friends, we try to not share drinking cups, straws, the same fork or spoon with our friends. no matter how much we love them, sometimes such a simple step makes all the difference in passing things around.
5. WASHING AND SANITIZING TOYS, BOOKS, DOOR KNOB HANDLES, ETC REGULARLY
because conrad was born in the middle of december last winter, i tried my hardest during the weeks leading up to his birth to really go through our apartment and deep scrub and sanitize our most touched surfaces as well as our toys and books. as i began to scrub toys and book covers, it was amazing to literally see the amount of noticeable dirt i was wiping away! embarrassing, actually. i’ve made it more of a habit to frequently go through our apartment and wipe and sanitize everything, including door handles and other surfaces in our apartment that we touch on a daily basis. i think it makes a big difference.
what are a few of your healthy survival tips that have proven to keep everyone a bit more healthy in the winter months? share in the comments below!