Upper respiratory tract infections or colds are everywhere, especially in winter, so it is almost impossible to stop children from catching them. Here are some points which may help:

  • Teach your child to cover his/her nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and to wash hands straight afterwards.
  • Hands should be washed after blowing noses and before eating.
  • Use tissues once and then throw them in the bin. (Avoid using handkerchiefs.)
  • Keep your child home from school if he/she has a cold/cough/fever/pain.
  • Make sure that your children eat a balanced diet of plenty of healthy foods.
  • Keep children away from smoke – it irritates their eyes and nasal passages, making it more likely that they will catch a cold.

What to do if your child gets a cold

No treatment will cure a cold or make it go away more quickly, but you can help your child feel more comfortable:

  • Rest: This need not be in bed.
  • Provide extra drinks: If your child doesn't want to drink much, try giving lots of small sips of water, milk or juice, or ice blocks to suck for older children.



School-aged children need 10 -11 hours' sleeps a night. Getting a good night's sleep will help your child to be more settled, happy and ready for school, and will strengthen his/her immune system. Here are some sleep tips:

  • Have a bedtime routine – this will help your child wind down from the day.
  • Keep the bedroom dark, cool and quiet - this will help your child drift off easily.
  • If anxieties or worries are keeping your child from relaxing, acknowledge the feelings and deal with it straight away or plan to sort the issue out in the morning after a good night's sleep.

Remember, medication is not the answer to children's sleep problems.

Contact your local Community Health Nurse, Jenny Rossi on 94734019 or go to for more information.



 Children and adolescents should not spend more than two hours a day on screen based activities.  Excessive screen time often leads to poor health, poor fitness and overweight.

Activities like surfing the net, social networking, watching TV and playing screen games can be educational and fun, but all involve sitting still for long periods of time. Set family rules around screen time and encourage your child to try a range of active pastimes, especially during daylight hours.  For more information, go to



 Good self-esteem helps children and young people to try new things, take healthy risks and solve problems. Positive self-esteem provides children with a solid foundation for their learning and development and enables them to feel good about themselves.

Parents can help build the self-esteem of their children by frequently doing the following with them:

  • Say "I love you"
  • Develop and maintain special daily rituals
  • Let your children help you
  • Let your child make mistakes and solve some of their own problems
  • Praise children for trying
  • Show an interest in the sports or hobbies they are interested in
  • Eat meals as a family
  • Seek out one-on-one opportunities often
  • Praise desirable behaviour (praise should be genuine and specific)
  • Correct negative behaviour firmly but lovingly
  • Respect their choices
  • Celebrate your child's successes - big and small
  • Make your children a priority in your life.

For more information go to


Jenni Rossi, Community Health Nurse