I am participating in an Ambassador program on behalf of Influence Central and hosted by Claritin®. I have received compensation to thank me for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own.
Every season brings it’s own set of wonder, entertainment and challenges as a parent. The beauty and bounty of Fall, its host of holidays and new beginnings, including the start of school, makes it a time of great celebration and awesome weather to enjoy it all in. But it also brings on the not so fun part of parenting with the start of cold, flu and allergy season. See our top 10 parenting tips to make the most of the season, while avoiding it’s pitfalls.
Top 10 Parenting Tips for Fall
My favorite part of being a parent is getting to enjoy the fun of childhood again. My not so favorite part of parenting? Seeing my kiddos sick and suffering. Fall brings crisper weather, great celebrations and awesome family traditions that I love sharing with my kids. To avoid the not so fun part that comes with the onslaught of allergy, cold and flu season, I prepare for the worst, while filling the calendar with all that Fall has to offer. Here are my top 10 parenting tips for enjoying and surviving Fall, while preparing for the impending Winter!
Go and Be Outside
After the long hot summer, the crisp mornings of Fall are a welcome reprieve. But they also serve as a reminder to me that Winter is coming – and soon, we will face MONTHS of short days, freezing temperatures and snow, and being stuck inside. In Fall, I seize every opportunity to go and be outside with the kids that I possibly can.
Go apple picking. Visit a pumpkin patch. Test your skills in a corn maze. Make a trip to a country fair. Go hiking through Fall foliage. Chase falling leaves. Jump in leaf piles. Sit around a bonfire to take the chill out of the evening air. Make s’mores. Every waking second that is not spent in school or sleeping, spend outside while you still can.
Dress in Layers
We are in the midst of experiencing a crazy Indian summer in New England – crisp mornings have given way to 80 degree afternoon highs. Buy back to school outfits that help ease the transition from the heat of summer to the cooler Fall days. Dress them in layers to help them stay warm on crisp mornings enroute to school, while still allowing them to enjoy play at recess and after school in the warmer afternoon. Cardigans, vests, and hooded sweatshirts are all great options.
Clean Out Closets
My kids LOVE to pick out their own clothes in the morning. They, however, don’t always have an appreciation for taking weather into account in their choices. A fun fight then ensues – not a great way to start the morning. Eliminate the fight by making what’s left in their closet and drawers Fall friendly. Pack away the shorts, tank tops and flip flops, as well as any clothes and shoes that no longer fit, to make room for Fall layers and Winter bulk.
Check Child’s Spare Clothes at School
This is one I would always forget if the great teachers at our school didn’t remind me! At the start of the school year 2 months ago, you sent a spare change of clothes to school with your child – probably shorts and a t-shirt. It’s time to swap those out for jeans and add a sweater or cardigan, just in case!
Mark Your Calendar for Daylight Savings Time
The dreaded time of year for every parent – Daylight Savings Time. The day the clocks fall back an hour. This year it falls on Sunday, November 6th. And while the Fall transition is easier than the Spring, rewiring young children’s routine is never very fun. Ease the transition for everyone by adjusting bed and wake-up times by 15 minutes each day beginning the Wednesday before. By Sunday, they will be right on track!
Check Your School’s Inclement Weather Policy
School snow delays are right around the corner. What does that mean for your school? A one hour, 90 minute, or 2 hour delay? Be sure sign up for any relevant alert systems. If your children are in private, daycare or preschool, know what school system they follow for inclement weather. If both parents work, be sure to work out a plan for childcare coverage and/or pick-ups in the event of inclement weather delays or early dismissals.
Try on all your children’s coats, snow pants and boots from last season, and replace what needs replacing now. Watch for outerwear sales – don’t wait until the first snowstorm. I made that mistake my daughter’s first winter. It’s like waiting to buy a snow shovel until the first snow storm hits. You will be fighting everyone else, and lucky to find anything your kid likes that isn’t a fortune.
Get Flu Shots
Many states and schools now mandate children receive a flu shot each year. Your child will typically get one at their annual check-up with their pediatrician. However, if their scheduled visit is outside of flu season, you will need to schedule a separate visit once flu vaccines arrive to receive one.
Stock Your Medicine Cabinet
There is nothing worse than waking up to a sick child in the middle of the night… Before your house gets sick this season, check your medicine cabinet. Toss expired medicine, and replace them. Make sure you have your cabinet stocked with necessities including:
- Fever reducers
- Allergy relief: Children’s Claritin®, the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Non-Drowsy Oral Allergy Brand for kids ages 2+
- Cough medicine
- Electrolyte replenishing fluids
Be Allergy Smart
The makers of Children’s Claritin have created an awesome resource for parents – the Smart Allergy Mom™ Toolkit. With Fall, you can be sure your children will have a runny nose. The Smart Allergy Mom™ Toolkit gives you the full download on allergies, how to decipher between allergies and a common cold, as well as how to have a conversation with your pediatrician about your child’s allergies. It also provides awesome tips for managing seasonal allergies, including downloadable resources like the Symptom Tracker. You can even input your zip code to check the allergy forecast in your area.
How are you getting out and enjoying this Fall? Are you prepared for the colder days, allergy, cold and flu season ahead? Hopefully these practical parenting tips help you make the most of season. Find more great tips on our Practical Parenting board on Pinterest!