How to Prep for an Illness-Free Summer

A young girl enjoys a cold water on the beach.

Days by the pool, vacations at the beach, and barbecues with the family are all just around the corner. But the last thing you’ll want is for one of your children (or yourself!) to be sidelined by a sickness this summer. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your family healthy in the warm months to come.

Practice Good Hygiene with Your Child

Teach your child about how illnesses are transmitted and how you both can help prevent them by practising good hygiene habits like coughing or sneezing into your arm and washing your hands thoroughly.

Make sure they know that when they sneeze or cough into a tissue, they need to throw it away immediately. Explain to them why they should avoid touching their mouths and noses too much.

As a parent, you should disinfect surfaces, and toys regularly. And while Fido might be good for your health in other ways, don’t forget to bathe your dog regularly so he doesn’t become a four-legged germ transmitter. Enlist your child’s help cleaning if they’re old enough. Overall, don’t forget to be a good role model for your child. Make an effort to demonstrate to them that you’re there practising good hygiene right alongside them. 

Be On the Lookout for Emergency Symptoms

Familiarise yourself with signs of common illnesses, especially those that spike in the summer, such as a poison ivy rash, swimmer’s ear, or dehydration. Of course, if your child’s condition worsens, get them to a doctor immediately.

Prevention is always the best method. So make sure your child is drinking plenty of water, wearing sunscreen, and can recognise harmful plants and insects. Remember your child could still catch that odd case of cold or flu during the summer, so if you see symptoms related to those illnesses, don’t hesitate to take action. 

Check Your Pool

If you have a pool, now is the time to start prepping it for the summer. That means making sure all chemicals are at the right levels and that your water has been properly sanitised. Start the process now so that you can be sure you have everything you need on hand to protect your family and visitors from harmful bacteria that love soaking in your warm pool just as much as you do.

Plan for Your Child’s Flu Vaccination

I know, I know, it isn’t even summer yet, and we’re just getting clear of the past flu season, but these things have a way of sneaking up on us. When I got my flu shot this year, my pharmacist told me they often have doses of the vaccine in as early as August. So, start planning now, and you may be able to have your family’s flu vaccines out of the way before your kids even head back to school. 

Summer should be a time of fun and relaxation. Don’t let illnesses or other summer injuries or reactions get in the way of you and your family’s fun!

Angela Tollersons is a former business owner turned full-time mom. The mother of a son on the autism spectrum, she truly believes that every family is special in their own way. She started with her husband to provide parents a resource for information, ideas, and inspiration on giving children of all abilities healthy and happy lives. Angela lives in the suburbs of North Carolina and is an active member of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and Parents Helping Parents.