~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

November 28, 2016
by countryfun
Comments Off on Tis the Season! Flu and Cold Arrives

Tis the Season! Flu and Cold Arrives

It is important for all of us to do what we can for prevention.

  • WASH YOUR HANDS!!!! WASH wash-hands-sign-nhe-13111_300YOUR HANDS!!!!WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!WASH YOUR HANDS!!!! Washing hands is the first line of defense and super easy. We all need to do a better job of this, especially now. Use soap and water as the first line of defense. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is fine for when soap and water is not available.
  • Keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. That’s the door to the body for influenza germs. This will be harder to teach to our youngest ones.
  • Cover up that cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve- “The Dracula”. Germs die in the material and don’t get spread to everything you handle. Be sure to still wash your hands. If tissues are used get them into the wastebasket and wash up.
  • Stay at home and avoid contact with others if you are sick.

***** Proper Hand Washing***** 

To be sure all surfaces of the hand are cleaned – have children work up bubbles to cover all the parts of their hands.

  1. Wets hands with warm, running water and apply liquid soap.
  2. Rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces and fingers – fingers wide, (interweave) cross together to make x’s, move those x’s up and down, then close fingers and rub the palms together. Be extra careful to wash back of the hands and the full length of the thumb.
  3. Scrub nails by rubbing them against the palms of your hands – scrub nails from finger tips to wrist multiple times, switching hands -“Tickle Fingers”
  4. Rub backs of each hand
  5. Rinse your hands with running water
  6. Dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel and use it to turn off the faucet.

For children, 15 seconds can be reached by saying the ABC’s, counting to at least 20, or singing a favorite finger song like ‘itsy,bitsy spider’.

Scrubbing nails on the palm is probably new to most of us, but kids have fun with it real quickly.

*****Is it cold or flu?*****

They are so similar in symptoms. Flu symptoms are fever, cough, runny nose, muscle pain. With the flu you really feel pretty achy all over. Fever is another strong sign, especially with children that may not be able to tell us how their body is feeling. Not as common, but at times there is also nausea and diarrhea. Remember true FLU is a respiratory illness, not the stomach upset we often refer to as the flu.

The flu virus is spread when contaminated droplets exit the mouth and nose of the one infected and make contact with someone healthy. It is important to disinfect door knobs, light switches, phones, computers, toys and any other surfaces that are commonly touched around your house.

Here are the recipes for non-toxic cleaning sprays that I use year-round to disinfect every surface within our space:

  1. Fill a 16 ounce spray bottle almost to the top with water. Add 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 20 – 30 drops of tea tree oil, and shake to mix. Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic qualities. This is great to use on doorknobs, sink handles, phones, and other commonly handled surfaces.
  2. By itself, vinegar is not a disinfectant, but when used with hydrogen peroxide, it kills bacteria more effectively than any commercial cleaner. In spray bottle that keeps sunlight out (I covered a bottle with solid contact paper), put 3 % hydrogen peroxide. In another bottle, put straight white vinegar. Spray one after the other (order does not matter) on desired surface. Leave several minutes and wipe clean. Can use water to wipe down or just a clean cloth.
  3. This is a “mix as use” disinfecting recipe: 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide(3%). Just wipe on or spray and let dry. (I usually mix in a bowl and then wipe down any surface want to disinfect.)

Additional non-toxic home cleaning recipes.

For the little extra time cleaning with a disinfectant adds to your daily routine the benefits are huge – a healthier family and home environment.

For recovery: rest, drink plenty of liquids (add in ice chips, light soups, broths), take fever-reducing medication (no aspirin to anyone under 20), and lukewarm sponge baths to relieve further discomfort. Antibiotics are not of any use in the treatment of the flu.

September 21, 2015
by countryfun
Comments Off on It’s That Time Again for the “Common Cold” to Visit

It’s That Time Again for the “Common Cold” to Visit

I have written about the common cold, hand washing and flu at different times over the years. Since I have a houseful of runny noses I figured it was a good time to post about this topic again. Our “common cold” season runs from September until March or April, so children usually catch most cold viruses during these months.


cold_fluThe ‘common cold’ is the most common illness of young children. It is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and sinuses. These viruses enter the body through the eyes, especially and the nose. Entry through the mouth is not as big a concern.

The typical symptoms of a cold in young children include:

  • runny or stuffed-up nose and sneezing
  • coughing
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • mild fever
  • headache
  • mild sore throat

It’ easy for us to see the first signs of the first 5 on the list, but the last 2 are harder, as our youngest children they are often not able to explain to us how they are feeling. During the early stages of a cold, often before there are more visible symptoms, your child may be out of sorts or irritable.

Colds usually run between 4 to 10 days. Most children feel miserable for just a few days of those days.

It may seem like you are dealing with one cold after another all winter, and you might be. Young children can get as many as 8 to 10 colds each year before they turn 2 years old. It does drop down some after that, but with the large number of viruses that can cause colds and new cold viruses developing, children never build up resistance against all cold viruses, just the ones they have had.

Cold viruses are passed in 3 ways:

Direct contact: kissing, touching or holding hands with an  person sick with a cold. If you have a virus, there are germs in your nose, mouth, eyes, on your skin, you pass on the virus with physical contact.  – I cannot stop the touching or close contact, but when colds are here I try to stop the hello and goodbye hugs and kisses. We’ll come up with other creative ways to acknowledge our friends. That is also why I encourage kisses only on checks throughout the year.

Indirect contact: touching a toy, doorknob, a used tissue, etc., that has been touched by an infected person and now has germs on it. The common cold virus can live on objects for several hours, allowing time for your child to touch the object and then rub their eyes or nose. – The best best to combat the number of colds is hand washing! That means warm water, soap and a good scrubbing job (20 seconds). We talk about making as many bubbles as we can that cover the whole hand, especially between the fingers. This will usually get us to the 20 seconds. Or you can sing some simple songs together.

  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or wiping your nose.
  • Wash your hands after being in contact with someone who has a cold.
  • Wash your own hands and your child’s hands after wiping your child’s nose.
  • When water and soap are not available, use pre-moistened hand wipes or alcohol-based hand rinses. Keep hand rinses out of your child’s reach because they may be harmful if swallowed.

We also know that some germs spread through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. Droplets from the cough or sneeze may reach another person’s nose  or more likely land on a solid surface that will later to touched by another person. – Children here are taught to sneeze or cough into their elbow crease or upper arm. Catching a cough with the hand is no longer what is taught. That just concentrates the germs on the hand and then they are spread very easily.


Well, now you have a child with a cold, so what can you do to help them get through it as quickly and comfortably as possible?

  • Making sure your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Giving your child plenty of liquids.
  • Use a humidifier in your child’s bedroom at night. The humid environment will help to keep your child’s nose and chest clear, making it easier to breathe.
  • Using children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower fever and reduce aches. Talk with your health care provider before giving any child under age 4 an over-the-counter cold or flu medicine.
  • In very young children with congestion, you can use a nasal bulb to gently remove mucus. You may also spray three drops of saline nasal spray into each nostril.

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