Look, I’ll admit that there were many things I imagined myself saying to my children before I actually had children. These ranged from but were not limited to: “Come and give me a cuddle honey,” or, “Go and get your shoes on, we’re going to the park for a family bike ride!”
However, I did not think I’d be saying the following sentence to my partner: “Hey honey, can you swing by the chemist and pick up some of those de-worming chocolate squares, yeah the ones that taste like real chocolate, yeah I’m almost certain that Jack has worms again. K, thanks, bye!”
Not only did I not picture this to be a conversation I’d have with my partner on a semi-regular basis, I could never have imagined how casual I’d become about it. But here I am, all these years later and it’s as natural to me as asking him to pick up a loaf of bread and two litres of milk on his way home from work.
As it should be. Because let’s face it, kids are revolting. No, they really are.
And believe me, it’s not from lack of trying to keep these little living, breathing germ machines clean and disease free. We try, my god how we try. But invariably, they are left to their own devices and kids, well, they are just far too busy sometimes to, you know, wash their hands or be generally hygienic.
Germs, bugs and messes are just a natural and normal fact of life. And as any parent of a child at day care, kindy or school will know, what goes around the playground will inevitably end up at home. Yet kids are going to be kids. And I don’t know about you, but I want my kids out there, digging in dirt, sharing with their friends, forgetting about the online gaming world and just exploring like we did growing up.
This of course doesn’t mean that you or I have failed as parents. It simply means that we need to teach our kids the practices that will keep them healthy and arm ourselves with the necessary equipment when the inevitable strikes.
And this is where to start.
Make sure they have regular health checks ups and keep up-to-date with their immunisations.
As our children grow, we might not take them for the same regular kind of check-ups we did when they were babies and toddlers. But their height, weight and general wellbeing should never stop being monitored. And an up-to-date immunisation schedule (when safe for the child) should always be adhered to.
Make sure they get enough sleep.
Kids need at least 10 hours sleep a night. To achieve this, routine is key and is always enhanced by having little to no screen time before bed. They need to relax and recharge.
Send kids to school with hand sanitiser.
This doesn’t mean they have to be ridiculous with its use, but they should be encouraged to use it after going to the bathroom and after being in the playground.
Teach them about the importance of washing their hands.
Just like the hand sanitiser, this is less about being over the top and more just about teaching them how to wash properly. This means it’s not simply a quick dip under the tap. Demonstrate the best procedure and talk about the optimal duration.
Make sure they drink lots of water each day.
I know, this sounds like a no brainer. But just like us adults who can easily forget to drink the good old H2O, children need reminding and encouragement.
Have deworming chocolate squares in the pantry, at all times, just in case.
These kinds of things (especially worms or stomach bugs) are a gross yet inevitable part of healthy play and interaction — and let me tell you, they are the LEAST of your problems. Because being a parent is as hectic as it is satisfying. And let’s face it, you’re not really a parent until you find yourself washing every item of bedding you own in boiling hot water, steam cleaning the walls and disinfecting the kitchen cupboards. That’s when you know that you’ve reached the peak of parenthood.
How do you keep your kids germ free?
While we’re on it, here are some germ hotspots for your next cleaning spree.
Holiday care, kids’ sports and school environments are all ideal breeding grounds for worms. While worms are easy for kids to pick up and easy to spread through human contact, they are also easy to treat! Be prepared with COMBANTRIN® and COMBANTRIN®-1 products at hand to ensure the whole family is worm free. Available in both tasty chocolate squares and orange-flavoured tablets.
COMBANTRIN® is Australia’s most trusted de-worming brand by mums.*
More information can be found at www.combantrin.com.au
* COMBANTRIN® Market Research March 2014.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your health care professional. ®Registered Trademark.