Winter Health Tips for Children
Little girl with thermometer in her mouth
If you're a parent who believes in using natural remedies to keep your children healthy, it's time to start thinking about ways to prevent the illnesses that come along in the winter months. Pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears practices a very unique approach to pediatrics by providing a combination of alternative and traditional medical care, and has plenty of natural remedies to keep your children healthy during the cold and flu season. He shares his advice on how to maintain your child's good health naturally.
Mother and daughter washing hands
Encourage Children to Wash Their Hands Often
"Youngsters old enough to wash hands on their own, or with light supervision, should be taught to wash with soap and warm water," Dr. Sears says. "If they're rushing, slow them down with a game or song." For babies, use fresh, alcohol-free cleansing wipes to clean their hands throughout the day, he says. 
Girl eating strawberries
Teach Children to Eat Well
Feed children natural illness-busting foods like whole grains and dark greens and antioxidant-rich fruits like colorful berries, Dr. Sears says. "Let them help you make choices in the grocery store by selecting vegetables and fruit with their favorite colors," he says.
Handful of vitamins and a glass of water
Give Children Daily Vitamins
Try healthful, all-natural dye- and preservative-free daily multivitamins, Dr. Sears says.
Sick boy asleep
Make Sure Children Get Enough Sleep
"Rest is one of the most important ways we help our bodies recover when we are sick," Dr. Sears says.
Sleeping boy with mother's hand on head
Help Children Sleep Better
Prop children slightly upright to help them sleep better. When children are stuffy, elevating them while they sleep can help ease their breathing so they get more rest, Dr. Sears says.
Little boy with glass of juice
Give Children Plenty of Liquids
"Staying hydrated is always important, but even more so when your child is sick," Dr. Sears says. "Water, juice and clear broths help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration, but avoid caffeinated drinks, which make dehydration worse."
Bowl of chicken soup
Serve Children Chicken Soup
Give your children chicken soup—it's healthier than you think! "Research has found that the nutrients and vitamins in traditional chicken soup may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could lead to temporary ease from symptoms of illness," Dr. Sears says. "Also, the movement of mucus through the nose is sped up to relieve congestion."
Dripping honey
Help Alleviate Sore Throats
If your child is age 1 or older, turn to honey for achy throats (Do not feed newborns honey). Mix honey and lemon into a glass of hot water, then cool to room temperature before sipping, Dr. Sears says. "The honey coats and soothes the throat, and the lemon helps cut mucus," he says.
Girl blowing her nose
Treat Sore Noses and Cracked Lips
Use petroleum jelly or an emollient lotion to keep children's lips and noses from becoming irritated when they're sick, Dr. Sears says.

Kill the germs lurking in your kitchen and bath