Dads have their dad jokes and moms have words of wisdom. But seeing that dad never made it to the comedy stage, it may be time to question mom’s sage advice as well.
Like, is love really the secret ingredient? And is laughter really the best medicine? And if we go outside without a jacket, will we really catch a cold?
Okay, we’ll give mom the first two ‘cause they’re totally true! But we’re not so sure about that last one. Our kiddos seem to get sick a lot in the fall and winter months (ourselves included), but the reason may not be what we think.
Luckily, we've uncovered this below.
Let's dive in!
Why Do Our Kiddos Get Sick Around This Time?
Keeping the flu bug away has led to all sorts of common flu myths. Some may work, others not so much. But if we can pinpoint why our kiddos get sick more often in the fall and winter, then we can tackle flu season where it matters most!
1) Viruses Love the Cold
It’s their favorite season! Although you can catch a cold or flu at any time, viruses can replicate and survive better in colder, drier air.
That means winter is a virus' playground where they have the upper hand.
2) Close Proximity
When it’s suuuuuper chilly outside, we tend to stay in the coziness of our warm homes. Hot cocoa anyone??? But more time indoors means more time close to other people. And that makes it easy for viruses to catch rides to new homes.
3) Low Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to increase susceptibility of infection. A science-ey way of saying that when we don’t have enough Vitamin D, we’re more likely to get sick!
But why do our Vitamin D levels plummet in the fall and winter?
Well, that’s because our main source of Vitamin D comes from the bright, shiny sun! And more time indoors = less time soaking up the sun rays = less Vitamin D.
But that’s not all. Winter brings shorter days and less sunlight – talk about a double whammy for our Vitamin D levels!
Prevention Best Practices
Now that we know why we get sick more often in the winter, we can work smarter in our flu season prevention.
1) Boost Vitamin D Levels
For starters, we can keep our kiddo’s Vitamin D levels high by:
- Getting plenty of sunshine by playing outdoors – this is when that coat comes in handy!
- Eating a Vitamin-D rich diet (think salmon, eggs, and Vitamin-D fortified foods)
- Supplementing with Vitamin D for kids – D3 for children is best:)
2) Practice Healthy Hygiene
Now is the perfect time to review our healthy hygiene habits such as:
- Proper handwashing: Sing the ABC’s and don’t forget to get under those fingernails
- Sanitize often: Before/after meals, touching doorknobs, and going potty
- Coughing and sneezing into our elbows
3) Supercharge our Kiddo’s Immune System
Our immune system is the real hero during flu season. And every hero needs a superstar team! The immunity all-stars include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Probiotics: Technically not a vitamin, but probiotics have been shown to boost immunity. Healthy tummies, healthy bodies!
How to have a Fun but Healthy Fall & Winter Season
The last few months of the year is an exciting time for kiddos. Make sure your little one has everything they need to fight off any pesky viruses with a strong immune system. Renzo’s Vitamins Immunity Builder Bundle covers all your bases. With the must-haves to kick pesky colds to the curb and an amazing taste kids love, it’s no wonder Renzo’s kid’s vitamins are approved by pediatricians, moms, and kiddos too!
 Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med. 2011 Aug;59(6):881-6. doi: 10.2310/JIM.0b013e31821b8755. PMID: 21527855; PMCID: PMC3166406.
 Klein K, Stevens R. The clinical use of probiotics for young children. J Fam Health Care. 2008;18(2):66-8. PMID: 18512639.