Back To Common Illnesses
Vaccinations dramatically reduce your child's risk of many serious bacterial and viral diseases. So with much of the dangerous stuff out of the way, what can you do to help reduce the likelihood of less severe, common viral illnesses?
- For infants under 2 months of age, a simple cold can interfere with feeding and sleeping. In addition, fever from a cold virus raises concern for the possibility of more serious infections and requires a visit to the office. For these reasons, it makes a lot of sense to keep your baby at home as much as you can in the first 2 months. Try to have someone stay home with the baby when you run errands. Ask people who plan to visit if they are feeling well and delay the visit if they are sick.
- Be an excellent hand washer and encourage those who visit you and your child to wash their hands as well.
- Don't allow your child to be exposed to cigarette smoke. This irritates the lining of the baby's nose and upper airway and increases the chances that a germ can attach and cause an illness. If you smoke, talk to your child's provider. The doctor will be able to provide you with support to quit.
- If your child will be in childcare, choose a setting with smaller groups of children in one room. Fewer kids means fewer infections. Be sure to pick a home or center with good hygiene practices and knowledge of the need to clean shared toys regularly to reduce the risk of spreading germs.
- As your child grows, be sure that any meat you serve him or her is thoroughly cooked. Avoid feeding under cooked eggs as well.
- Make a commitment to offer your child good nutrition throughout childhood. People who get adequate nutrients have more optimal immune function and can fight infections better.
- Keep your child's immunizations up to date.