How to Protect Your Child from Cold
The Winter season brings lots of fun, excitement and joy and prompts your kids to play outdoors – in addition – compels them to take a break from their routine activities; as a result, kids indulge themselves in fun, parties, vacations and consume lots of junk food. Amongst all such activities – infectious cold and flu debilitate our kids making them prone to intermittent infections. If you are wondering how to protect your child from cold, here are some healthcare tips that will help your child enjoy the winter chill and avoid visits to the doctor at intervals.
Water is good for skin
It is quite natural for kids to drink less water during winter. However, you should make sure that your kid is drinking enough water as it is essential to keep his/her skin hydrated. In addition, don’t be carried away by the common myth that eating fruits causes cold, and, instead ensure that your kid is consuming fruits stored at room temperature.
Lukewarm Water Bath
Don’t use hot water during winter owing to chilling cold to give a shower to your kid, instead use lukewarm water. Next, shorten the duration of the shower to prevent intermittent exposure to the cold breeze while bathing. Regular bath soaps have detergent, which is not good for your kid’s tender skin – instead, use milder soaps. After showering use a good quality moisturizing lotion.
Massage with Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Massage with Coconut oil or Olive oil, which is loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids, enlivens your child’s drying skin by providing the much-needed suppleness and life to his/her skin.
Winter Clothes for your Child
Kids tend to feel uncomfortable in winter gears as the day progresses owing to soaring temperature, and thus, instinctively remove the extra layers of winter clothing. The problem with them is that once they remove their jackets or pullovers, they don’t wear it again at the dusk. As a parent, you can resolve their concern by making them dress in layers so that even if they feel hot, they can remove only a few layers of their clothing barring a few others who are still on their body to protect them against the freezing cold.
Keep a Check on Dietary Habits
A good and balanced diet is always good for health and particularly during winter, it acts as an immunity booster. A healthy and balanced diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along with the required amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibres. As a usual tendency, kids tend to have sugary foodstuff including chocolates, pastries and toffees, which are not good for their health.
Allow Your Child to Play
Routine physical activity is good for people of all ages. Kids enjoy playing outdoors rather than confining themselves to homes. Outdoor activities in winter are good for kids provided they protect themselves with the necessary winter gear. As a parent, let them enjoy their regular exercises and afternoon playing sessions. General hygiene, proper diet and regular activities help enhance immunity in children, which offers immunity against common cold and flu infections.
Ensure General Hygiene
Ensure proper hygiene and don’t allow your kids to play in the dust. Bath your kid with lukewarm water and ensure that they are washing their hands several times a day, especially after coming from outside, after visiting the toilet, before and after eating food. Remember – hand washing is the most powerful way to get rid of cold and flu germs. Hand sanitisers are also effective in getting rid of infectious bacteria and viruses – teach your kids about their usage.
How to protect your child from cold and Flu?
These are the general measures that you can take at home when your child gets infected with flu: take the advice of your doctor for using acetaminophen or paracetamol at home for relieving the pain and fever of your child. For relieving congestion, use saline nasal drops along with steam and a humidifier. Ensure that your child is drinking plenty of fluids. Do not force your child to eat solid food for a day or two if they are not willing to; ensure a lot of fluids/ soups with fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. Use probiotics if your child has diarrhoea due to stomach flu. Recurrent flu and cold infections cause frequent headaches in children
Get your child vaccinated
you can go a step further to ensure that your child will be protected from flu. Just ensure that your child’s vaccinations are up to date. As for as flu is concerned, once your child reaches 6 months or older get flu shots (vaccine) done.
When to See a Doctor?
It is common for sick children to be cranky, less active and more “out of sorts” than usual. However, if your child’s behaviour is really out of sort and he/she is very lethargic or inconsolable despite your best efforts and usual comfort measures, it would be appropriate to see your paediatrician, visit a clinic or head to your hospital’s emergency department for a medical assessment. If your child has had a fever for more than 3 to 4 days and is experiencing any other symptoms like difficulty in breathing, has significant pain or a rash and is not acting as they normally would, then you should seek medical attention immediately.