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Reducing Risk

It’s inevitable: at some point, children will get sick. And while there’s not much you can do to prevent all illnesses, there are a few simple ways to help reduce the risk.

Infant being held to wash hands by parent

Did you know that children under age three catch an average of six to eight colds a year? That’s a lot of sniffles!

These tips may help reduce your child’s risk:
  • Breastfeed your baby if possible, and for as long as possible. Breast milk provides your baby with antibodies, which are important for fighting infection and strengthening the immune system.

  • Keep your children far away from second-hand smoke. It’s easier for people who are exposed to second-hand smoke to get colds and flus.

  • Make sure everyone in your household washes their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after sneezing and blowing their noses. If small children are unable to wash their own hands, do it for them. Use plenty of soap and water, and dry thoroughly.

  • Be sure your child gets the sleep they need to stay healthy. Most children under age five need to sleep for 11 hours or more (total) per day.

  • Encourage your children to drink plenty of water, and make sure their meals include colorful servings of fruits and veggies to help their immune systems work properly.

    Did you know that washing your hands can help reduce the risk of catching a cold by up to 45%? Make hand washing fun with your kids by singing the “Happy Birthday” song as they suds up – it’s just the right length of time for a thorough soap up and rinse!

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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