Winter has made its cold and snowy arrival and with it comes flu and cold season! Welcome to runny noses, coughing, sneezing, headaches, chills, fevers…and all those other yucky and uncomfortable symptoms. With our oldest starting preschool soon, we anticipate having lots of illness running rampant through our home this year so we’ve made sure to stock up on all the cold and flu essentials, such as Kleenex tissues, pain relievers, humidifiers, thermometers and more.
With my two children, ones of the most maddening things during cold and flu season is the constant running noses. It irritates both of them, grosses people out and also spreads more germs. Teaching children to blow their own nose is one of those skills you never realize is so important (or difficult to explain) until you are face to face with a snotty nosed kiddo. Let’s be real, for most young children, runny noses are fixed in one of several ways:
Using their sleeve….eww.
Lick it…double eww.
With that said, teaching children to blow their own nose is a game changer! The hardest concept for most children is learning how to blow out of their nose instead of their mouth. Once they get this concept down, you can work on the details like closing one nostril at a time and how to wipe.
Below are a few of my favorite ways to help them grasp the concepts, from blowing, to pinching their nostril and wiping. Grab your Kleenex tissues and get at it with the following tips:
Practice Before They’re Sick
Don’t wait until illness strike, practice the concept of blowing out of their nose (most children have a hard time blowing out their nose rather than mouth) when they are well and happy.
Make a Game of It
Children love games and it takes the pressure off of performance when its fun and silly.
Use a feather or cotton ball and see who can blow it across the table the fastest using just their nose. Emphasis closing the mouth. While playing the game, show them how to press one nostril down and use only that side (than alternate). Be sure to clean the surface afterwards to fend off any germs.
Bath Time Bubbles
Water makes everything better, right? Have your child(ren), put their nose under the water and blow bubbles using only their nose. You are aiming to show them how to use their nose to blow, opposed to their mouth so that when they need to blow their nose while sick, they are used to the concept.
Make a Tent
Show them how to place a tissue over their nose like a tent. Have them take a deep breath, clamp their mouth close and blow through their nose hard enough to make the “tent” move. Often, it helps to have them stand in front of a mirror so that they can see the movement (and it provides extra sensory stimulation to excite them). Don’t forget clapping and cheering for encouragement.
Be sure to stock up on all your Kleenex tissue needs at your local Walmart! Kleenex Ultra are my favorite for everyday use and I always keep Kleenex Antiviral tissues in stock for illness . How awesome is it that a moisture-activated middle layer that kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses in the tissue within 15 minutes) while still being soft and gentle on skin!?! Taking advantage of the multipacks is the way to go so you don’t have to worry about running out (and let’s be real, you know the toddler is going to destroy half the box when you take a pee break – haha!) and you can keep some tissues in every room.
I love ordering online from Walmart and having it shipped to my home (free 2 day shipping!) or easily picking up in store. Aside from cold and flu season, I keep them on hand for allergies and for cleaning up those little noses after boo boo’s, snow time adventures, for the occasional sad and happy tears that come along this motherhood journey and the everyday messes.
For more ways to stay healthy and happy this year, check out:
Have you had a hard time teaching your kiddos to blow their own nose?
Do you take any steps to keep your family healthier during flu and cold season?