Knowing the common childhood illnesses is the first step to preventing them. Children are more susceptible to viruses and infections because their bodies are still growing and developing. Black people are also more susceptible to high blood pressure, diabetes, and sickle cell disease as they grow older and enter adulthood.

Caring for an ill child can be scary, but starting healthy habits when your child is young ensures their health stays in good condition.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

Cold viruses are airborne pathogens that spread through coughing and sneezing. To prevent common childhood illnesses, teach your child the proper way to cough or sneeze into their elbow. Not covering a cough can allow the bacteria to spread to other surfaces with the chance of infecting another child. Do not use your hand to cover sneezes or coughs, as this leads to a higher spread of bacteria.

Wash Hands Thoroughly

To prevent bacteria from entering your home, make sure your child washes their hands regularly. The amount of time it takes for your child to hum the “Happy Birthday” song is the correct amount of time they should be washing their hands. Get into the routine of regularly washing your child’s hands to prevent bacteria from entering their body.

Disinfect Toys and Electronics

Get into the habit of routinely wiping down and cleaning high-traffic areas. Favorite toys and electronics that people are constantly touching should be your focus point. You could even include your child in the process of disinfecting so that they can also learn the importance of it.

Get Vaccinated

Vaccinating your child against illnesses is single-handedly the most effective way to prevent infections and disease. For Black mothers, seeking inclusive health-care professionals is also essential. Start vaccinating your child when they’re young, and stay up to date with additional needed doses.

Eat Healthy and Exercise

Starting good habits such as eating healthily and getting proper exercise early teaches your child the best way to live a happy life. This tip for preventing common childhood illnesses also works to stop other common diseases. Healthy eating and exercise are habits the child can take into adulthood.

If you do need to take your child to urgent care, ask the right questions to get the care your child needs and deserves. Talk with your child about learning healthy habits. Skills they learn in adolescence carry through to adulthood, setting them up for a happy, healthy life.