Guardian Childcare & Education

How to Keep Your Child Healthy this Winter

8th May 2017

Winter health tips for children

For children, and for their unwitting parents, autumn tends to overcome us with chesty coughs and sniffly noses. Germs afflict early learning centres with about as much familiarity as Elsa’s winter fun dress and these months can be a macabre scene of tissues, tears and sleepless nights.

Although we might feel like slaves to the snot, there’s actually plenty we can do to keep our children fighting fit this winter season. We spoke with Dr. Aurora Sedmak, a naturopathic physician at Transformational Health, about the best ways to keep healthy this winter.

Hand washing

Dr. Sedmak argues that regular hand washing is one of the most basic and effective ways to break the cycle of infection. Getting children into the habit of washing their hands when they arrive and leave their centre, as well as when they blow their nose or have something to eat, is a great way to stop the spread of germs.

“Hand washing is more effective than using antibacterial cleansers or wipes because the agitation of the soap with a clean rinsing of water gets rid of bacteria better,” says Sedmak. Other good habits include washing towels and sheets regularly, which means at least weekly.

Eating right

We know! Getting vitamin-rich fruits and veggies into healthy children can be tough, however good food really does make for a good immune system.

“Garlic and onions have antiviral properties,” says Sedmak. If garlic bread isn’t on the menu, Sedmak suggests honey for children over the age of one. “Raw honey has antioxidant properties, which can help support your child’s immune system and naturally sweeten a warm drink. Manuka honey has shown some solid antibacterial properties, however it has a stronger taste so may not be as well-received with children.”

Sedmak advises us to avoid processed sugars, which can increase inflammation and prevent children from getting healthier sooner.


“There are a lot of herbs that can help support the immune system, but the most effective are probably echinacea and elderberry,” says Sedmak. Echinacea bolsters the immune system while elderberry is an effective antiviral.

“During cold and flu season you can give children liquid echinacea three to five days each week to help generally stimulate the immune system. I tend to find warm tea the easiest way to dose my own children.”

Sedmak argues that probiotics can help balance the immune system overall, but most importantly for the mucous membranes. “Mucous membranes are any surface inside the body that are exposed to the outside world, such as sinuses and the digestive tract. Probiotics can be helpful in nasal and sinus illnesses, but can be especially helpful in shortening the amount of time a child experiences diarrhoea.”

Essential oils through an infuser

If your child is sniffly and congested you can run a vaporiser or infuser at night in his or her bedroom with a few drops of essential oils.

“Tea tree and oregano oils have strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and tea tree can also help open up blocked nasal and sinus passages. Another great one for children is lavender oil, especially if the child is overtired. Lavender is relaxing, which can improve sleep, as well as acting as an antiviral.”

Keep warm this winter

Dress for all occasions! T-shirts, jumpers, gumboots, warm hats and spare items of everything are essential for this time of year. Sleeveless vests are often a great compromise to the “I’m-too-hot-for-a-jumper” war cry and closed shoes with warm socks are a must.

Looking for a childcare centre near you? Find your closest here.

Top Recent Articles

child playing with dinosaurs outside at Guardian Everton Hills

Fun in the Sun: Summer Learning is here! 

water play

Water Play: Cool Off & Have Fun this Summer

siblings at guardian

Welcoming a Sibling: Advice for Parents

gardening at guardian

Gardening with Children: A Great Summer Experience

guardian munro street

A Word from our Teachers: Jess Armitt (Guardian Munro St)



  • December 2020 (1)
  • November 2020 (11)
  • October 2020 (6)
  • September 2020 (6)
  • July 2020 (10)
  • June 2020 (1)
  • May 2020 (10)
  • April 2020 (22)
  • March 2020 (22)
  • February 2020 (19)
  • January 2020 (19)
  • 2019

  • December 2019 (21)
  • November 2019 (17)
  • October 2019 (26)
  • September 2019 (32)
  • August 2019 (38)
  • July 2019 (26)
  • June 2019 (10)
  • May 2019 (1)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • 2018

  • December 2018 (2)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (6)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (9)
  • June 2018 (9)
  • May 2018 (7)
  • April 2018 (6)
  • March 2018 (8)
  • February 2018 (6)
  • January 2018 (9)
  • 2017

  • December 2017 (10)
  • November 2017 (13)
  • October 2017 (10)
  • September 2017 (13)
  • August 2017 (15)
  • July 2017 (14)
  • June 2017 (15)
  • May 2017 (23)
  • April 2017 (17)
  • March 2017 (28)
  • February 2017 (21)
  • January 2017 (5)
  • 2016

  • December 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (1)
  • 2015

  • July 2015 (1)
  • Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

    Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

    We'll be in touch soon.


    *Mandatory Fields

    You May Also Want to Read This

    supporting fussy eaters: child eating beef ragu

    12th February 2020

    Tips for Supporting Fussy Eaters

    Toddler dental hygiene

    30th May 2017

    The Battle of the Toothbrush

    Winter health tips for children

    8th May 2017

    How to Keep Your Child Healthy this Winter