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parents panel

Parents Panel: Readers share their tips for protecting kids from winter bugs and colds

Extra vitamins or just a little extra fresh air? We asked our panel for their flu-fighting family tips.

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AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

Like clockwork, cold weather brings stuffed noses, sore throats and croaky coughs. And while exposure to winter cold and flu bugs is inevitable for your little ones, keeping their immune systems as strong as possible is key to fighting off all of those baddies.

This week we’re asking our panel…

What’s your one tip for protecting kids from winter bugs and colds?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 - Copy - Copy Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly

Eating the rainbow: At this time of year I ramp up the fruit and veg consumption with soups and juices to get those extra vitamins and minerals in. And I am a big believer in fresh air, so I try to ensure that Clíodhna gets some time outside every day, even if it’s only ten minutes.

- Ríona Flood

The flu jab, year on year: At the start of the winter the kids get the flu jab. Since we’ve started getting it for them we’ve noticed a difference in how often they get sick over the winter.

- Ken Hyland 

More hand sanitiser: Last year I did give Charlie some probiotics but I haven’t bothered yet so far this year as he’s a bit older and even more heartier. But I’m a bit more tuned into using the hand sanitiser when we’re at play-places with lots of other kids running around!

- Kait Quinn

shutterstock_1200883639 Shutterstock / Sharomka Shutterstock / Sharomka / Sharomka

She gets sick a lot, so I’m keeping her indoors more: Ellie Mae is three and has been on a ENT waiting list for over two and a half years now, with still no sign of an appointment. She has been suffering with bad ear and throat infections since she was a couple of months old. They reoccur every two to three weeks and nearly always end up with a doctor’s appointment and another antibiotic. This year I am trying to keep her indoors more, and she takes a children’s multivitamin. I have also bought some small air purifiers and have stopped drying clothes on the radiators. Hopefully the little things might make a difference this winter.

- Denise Cumiskey 

Vitamin supplements and lots of fresh air: If they are at school, some – if not all – of them will get what’s going around. But not all at the same time! The four of them are encouraged into the garden whenever they want, as long as it’s not too wet out! We give them a vitamin supplement through the winter months and we encourage them to wash their hands regularly but life largely continues pretty much unchanged at this time of year.

- Ross Boxshall

shutterstock_690880729 Shutterstock / Anna Grigorjeva Shutterstock / Anna Grigorjeva / Anna Grigorjeva

We get him playing in the garden more (wrapped up nice and warm): Except for vitamin D when he was a baby, we have never given him any kind of supplements. But as much as possible we try to have him outside playing in the back garden or doing activities during the winter months. He has good lined boots and, if needed, lined waterproof trousers. Along with a hat and warm jacket, he’s all set. When he gets cold he’ll come inside.

- Olly Keegan

More Parents Panel: Do you share photos of your kids on social media?>

More Parents Panel: Readers share the differences between their first and second pregnancies>

Want to win a family day out to iSkate and Funderland at the RDS? Enter our competition right here – and don’t forget to subscribe to our Family Newsletter below!

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