From: Ian Jones, Business Manager

Tip: Simple ways to prevent illness

I have recently been struck down with a really bad cold, after never having a day off ill in all the years First Steps’ has been open! So, it made me think about what we could share to help all our lovely families stay as well as possible!

As always, at First Steps we do everything we can to keep your little ones well, but sometimes the inevitable happens! So, we thought it might be useful for us to share with you some tips and tricks to try and prevent illness.

How to avoid spreading a cold

Colds are caused by viruses and easily spread to other people. You’re infectious until all your symptoms have gone. This usually takes a week or two.

Colds are spread by germs from coughs and sneezes which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of spreading a cold:

·       Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.

·       Use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze

·       Put used tissues in the bin as quickly as possible.

How to prevent catching a cold

 A person with a cold can start spreading it from a few ways before their symptoms begin until the symptoms have finished. The best ways to avoid catching a cold are:

·       Washing your hands with warm water and soap

·       Not sharing towels or household items (like cups) with someone who has a cold.

·       Not touching your eyes or nose in case you’ve come into contact with the virus – it can infect the body this way.

·       Staying fit and healthy.

Eat well, feel well

The evidence is clear: children and adults need a diverse diet, one packed full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein to keep immunity high.

Foods high in vitamins A, B, C, and E truly help boost immunity. Experts have found that eating plenty of orange and yellow produce (one or two of the recommended five total daily fruit and vegetable servings), which are naturally high in disease-fighting flavonoids and carotenoids, such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots, or brightly coloured fruits like kiwis, mangoes and clementines.

Also, an easy way to ensure you are getting a good amount of your vitamin intake is drinking 100 percent fruit juices. To make sure you get a wide range of nutrients, vary the type of juice that you drink or serve your children. Instead of say, giving your toddler a daily dose of apple or orange juice, go for a mixed blend, most supermarkets now offer ready-to-serve exotic juice combinations.

Get outdoors

As you know at First Steps we love the outdoors and will let the children enjoy the fresh air as much as we can. Experts have again said that spending as little as twenty minutes outside a day can promote better sleep, boost overall wellness, and may improve the moods of both you and your children. So, even when it is cold, try and enjoy the outdoors and go on adventures – it might just scare away that cold!

We really hope that you remain fit and well and any nasty bugs pass you by!