Winter is here! It brought some worries for the parents out there too. It is time to take some extra precautions to protect children against the natural cold and other diseases that comes along this season.
At first, let us see what might happen if you, as a parent do not take necessary precautions against cold:
- Attack of common cold that includes symptoms like runny nose, blocked nose, headache and sneezing
- Sore throat or pain in throat due to swallowing of the throat
- Allergic or seasonal asthma
- Some viral diarrhoea
- Cold sores (small blisters on lips or around mouth)
- Dry skin, cracked lips
- Slowing down of the day to day activity due to a constant tiredness
These are some common adverse effects of winter cold without preventive measures. Let’s not freak out!! I am going to share some simple ways of protecting your child against the cold this winter:
- Keep your child covered adequately: Don’t forget socks or sandals at home. Cover up the head as we lose the most heat through the head but not for a long time; as it might lead to over heating.
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!: It's common to see that children drink less water in winter. Keep an eye on their daily water intake (2-3 litres).
- Dairy is great in winter: Let them have more milk and milk products e.g. yoghurt.
- Healthy breakfast is your best friend in the winter: Give them a good, hearty, warm breakfast rich in carbohydrates (bread, cornflakes, ruti), protein, fruits and low fat content. A good breakfast triggers and keeps the metabolism running, as a result heat is produced constantly. Try to serve every meal of the day warm.
- Vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants: For boosting up the immunity of your child add carrots, oranges, grapes, seasonal dark leafy vegetables (available shak) in your child’s diet. These contain Vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants that help in both internal and external (skin, hair) protection.
- Hot baths/showers are actually the foes: More the cold- warmer the bath water- a common, but harmful misconception of the parents. Warm water bath causes skin to dry up quickly. So watch over the warmth of bathing water, use lukewarm water. Do not let them spend a long time bathing.
- Oil and lotions before and after baths: Let your children have a good body massage with olive oil or coconut oil before bathing and moisturizing lotion massage after bathing. Your kid’s skin will remain the shiny and the healthier if you can make them do this regularly. The oil provides nutrition to the skin and moisturizer protects skin from external factors (cold, dust etc.).
- Warm water and salt for sore throat: In case of sore throat, gargling with warm water and salt is the best possible treatment.
- Winter sports? Say Yes!: Encourage physical activity, it will keep them refreshed and help getting rid of the winter laziness. Encourage walking, cycling and other sports.
- Use sunscreen and masks while outdoors: While outdoors, use sunscreen as winter sunlight contains harmful UV rays causing severe damage to the skin. Use mask to avoid allergy.
- Cold is no excuse to stop washing hands: Remind them about washing hands in regular interval as they avoid for the fear of cold water!
- Show them proper nasal care: Show them the proper way to clear nose and use of tissue. Most of the children suck the nasal secretion through the nose to the sinus and suffer with sinusitis.