How to Minimize Germs During RSV Season

This winter has been the toughest winter on record for our family in terms of colds and flu.  We’ve all come down with something at some point or another. When I ask the kids’ doctor what else we can do to sto the spread of germs, she assures us that we are doing all that we can, and it has been a particularly bad year in NYC as well as most of the country.This is our first North American winter where Mr P is at school. Last year, at daycare we only had to contend with the him sharing germs with 25 other kids. Yes, I say sharing germs cause with kids it is inevitable – they share everything with each other and then bring it home to mom, dad and siblings.

Now that he is in kindergarten, he is sharing the same eating spaces, arts tables and gym rooms as the other 6 kindergarten classes, the Pre-k classes and the grade 1 students. Now that is a whooooole lot of germs. As I mentioned before, as a family we all have to do our best to minimize the spread of germs. No one wants to get hit by a nasty bug. Thankfully, Little Miss is a little bonnier, more solid this winter as she is 15 months, but it is still worth  instilling good habits in Mr P. And what better way to instill good habits in a 5 year old, but to follow them. Though my tips below are for the littlies it is still a great idea for adults to follow suit for the health of the whole family.

Tips for minimizing the spread of germs

  • Make your germ sharing tips for the kids fun, with lots of actions and grandiose gestures! That way they won’t find it so boring
  • Don’t share your sneezes and coughs, cover your mouth with your arm (not your hand) and then shake it out!
  • If you do sneeze into your hands, wash them with the 5 seconds rule (see below)
  • Use the 5 seconds rule when washing your hands. Five minutes to scrub your hands together, 5 seconds to scrub the top of your right hand, 5 seconds to scrub the top of your left hand
  • Noses and mouths are not for fingers. If your child is a picker, help them break that habit as they can spread a whole lotta germs that way
  • Find out if your school has a “no sharing” rule at school when it comes to food. If they don’t, ask them to consider implementing one. It is a good idea not only for minimizing spreading germs by sharing cups and utensils but for food allergies
  • Make a decision to keep your sick children at home where they can rest up and most of all, not spread germs to their classmates
  • Most of all, know your children’s doctor and keep up with your well-check appointments
As parents we need to recognize that our kids’ immune systems are not as robust as ours, so think twice when going into big crowds, will their be lots of smoke, unhygienic spaces? Think cafes with shared toys that are never cleaned. Its not about wrapping your kids in cotton wool, but more about  being aware of  what Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is, and what you can do to minimize your child’s risk factors.
Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus.
As a mother who has had both children either stop breathing or fall into dangerous lung capacity levels, I take the spread of RSV very serious. Below is a simple infographic to help you identify symptons that can be attributed to more than the common flu. The RSV season is right now and goes til at least March in the US, so consider arming yourself with as many tips as you can for stoping the spread of germs as well as with the information at the RSV Protection website.

Do you have any other tips for minimizing the spread of germs amongst kids?

disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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