A spoonful of honey quiets kids' coughs better than over-the-counter cough syrup and helps them sleep, according to a study from Penn State Hershey's College of Medicine. And Canadian researchers found that honey can kill bacteria that cause sinus infections. Look for darker honeys that have more antioxidants. Never give any honey to babies under age 1.
Sleep and immunity are tightly linked, so it's best to keep the kids home, let them lie on the couch, and put them to bed early when they have the flu or a fever. A kid with a simple head cold can go about their normal activities.
To keep germs at bay after your child's been sick, wash her sheets and clothes in hot water, change her toothbrush, spray furniture and carpets with a household disinfectant (such as Lysol), and use germ-killing wipes to sterilize toys, doorknobs, light switches, and other hard surfaces.
Originally published in the November 2010 issue of Parents magazine.
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