Carry hand sanitizer in your purse (and use it often)
Encourage your children to wash their hands (and wash your own) after eating, using the bathroom, or navigating through high-traffic areas like airports and shopping malls. When hand-washing isn't possible, hand sanitizer in the next best thing (just keep it under 3 ounces if you're flying).
Keep plenty of fluids on hand (including some Pedialyte, just in case)
Your child's body is at its best when it's well-hydrated. Because you don't always have access to fluids during long road trips, it's important to keep bottled water — and some electrolyte-rich drinks like Pedialyte or sports drinks — with you. If your child shows symptoms of illness, change out water for Pedialyte to help them stay balanced and prevent dehydration.
Get your child's flu shot at least two weeks prior to travel
It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to take full effect in your child's body, so it's important to stop by your pediatrician's office for a flu shot at least two weeks before you travel for the holidays. Penguin Pediatrics works hard to accommodate your schedule when it comes to flu shots so that this trip is as convenient as possible during this busy time of year.
Stick to that sleep schedule
Rest is one of the most critical components of health in children of all ages — and sticking to the regular sleep schedule can be especially hectic when traveling and waiting for Santa. Plan your agenda around your child's usual nap times, bed times, and wake up times to promote adequate sleep (and bring travel pillows for older kids — they can really help!).
Don't share your germs
Moms share everything with their children — including their germs. This time, you have a rock-solid excuse to keep your snacks to yourself. Don't buckle under pressure and risk your time away by sharing your food and beverages with your little ones; their bodies might not be able to fight off the germs that your own body handles with ease.
Sweets and treats are OK, but choose mostly healthy foods
Bone broth, fruits, and vegetables (which are rich in vitamins and minerals), and pre- and probiotics can help your child's immune system build and maintain the strength it needs to fight off invaders, like viruses and bacteria that commonly cause infections in winter months.
Eating nutritious food is more difficult when you're traveling, but it's possible. Remember that healthy doesn't have to be hard. Choose fresh eateries in the airport that offer sub sandwiches or salads, and consider immune-boosting finger snacks like baby carrots, celery, apples, and oranges for the flight or road trip. Although eating out is probably inevitable, choosing sit-down restaurants over fast food gives you healthier options, too.
Know when to call your pediatrician
You're a mom, which means you can handle a wide variety of ailments on your own, but it's important to know when to call the pediatrician. Call your pediatrician at Penguin Pediatrics if your child:
- has a fever over 104 degrees or any fever at all if under 3 months of age
- has diarrhea or vomiting and is exhibiting signs of dehydration, like a dry mouth, few wet diapers/voids, or a lack of tears
- is demonstrating signs of respiratory problems, like shortness of breath or trouble breathing
To schedule your child's flu shot and get more tips and tricks for a healthy holiday season, request an appointment with Penguin Pediatrics in Ashburn or Stone Ridge, VA, today.