After unpredictable and fading rains winter might just knock on our doors anytime soon. I am sure the idea of snuggling under the blanket with your kids and sipping a hot cup of coffee seems very alluring. Many kids love the change, out come the jackets, and scarves, with plans for snow trips, and outdoor fun. Once upon a time the idea of winter might not seem so daunting. It definitely meant shorter days and colder nights but it also meant a whole lot of green veggies being available in the market to stock, an awesome cup of coffee and eating all the good old comfort food. Well, if you fast forward to parenthood, then winter suddenly means a whole lot more. With winter comes colds, sore throats, coughing, fever and flu.I am sure you all know it’s the worst nightmare for parents with winter hitting their munchkins.
Staying warm and healthy can be a big challenge. Perhaps prevention is the key to cutting down on these winter colds rather that resorting for the cure which would only mean medicines and more medicines.
Children are more prone to illness because their immune system is in the development stage. But, it’s a fact, a body that is healthy doesn’t get sick or at least has the capacity to fight off the infection and recover well. There are many herbal and natural treatments that can help prevent a cold, provide real protection and speed up the healing process, but you got to know which ones are the best for your child.
Here are some practical ways and daily tips which can keep your child healthy and better prepare them to fight infection if still, they manage to catch the infection.
- Set an exercise routine:Daily exercise routine increases white blood cells in the body and there ability to fight infections. So, motivate your child to participate in as many physical activities possible at school. You can also look at enrolling them for after school activities like swimming, any sports of their liking or just cycling or playing around the house.Make sure they get plenty of sleep each night as well as lots of physical activity every day.
- Ensure they eat healthy food: Healthy food is the best thing that you can offer your child as an immunity booster. Make sure that your child eats lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Winter season is the best season of the year. With so many varieties of green vegetables and fruits available to choose from during winter season, this is where they will get maximum nutrition from. Ensure to stock up all seasonal fruits and make your child eat them at regular intervals.
- Teach good personal hygiene:Regular hand washing is the most simple and effective way to get rid of cold and flu bugs. So help your child wash his hands with soap and warm water after he uses the toilet, before meals and snacks, and as soon as he comes home from school/daycare, the playground, or a friend’s house. Especially for kids who stay in daycare, ensure that you give them complete warm water bath.
- Keep sugar to minimum: Too much of sugar is known to reduce the immunity and affects the bodies ability to fight germs. Try and cut down on your child’s sugar intake as well as aerated beverages.
- Getting outside in fresh air and sun: Ensure that your child gets enough of sunshine and fresh air to ramp up the dose of vitamin D. It’s very important not just for the absorption of calcium for healthy bones and teeth in your baby, but also for a healthy immune system.
- Reduce stress levels: Stress is also one of the reasons which increase the chances of your child getting infected. When under stress the immune system gets impaired and viruses attack easily. Try to keep the stress levels minimum and take each day as it comes.
- Keep warm: With winter just around the corner ensure that your child is sufficiently covered and is kept warm with right woollens. Layer your child up with long-sleeved T-shirts, fleeces, woollen caps and scarves. Don’t forget to remove the layers as needed, overheat is also not good for a child’s health, especially when you have an active running around kid. Take off soggy socks as soon as possible, too – they cause body temperature to drop quickly. Kids who sweat a lot needs to be taken care of.
- Drink plenty of water: Keep your body hydrated. It’s as important in winter as in summer. Water helps our kidneys to flush out toxins, which is vital for fighting illness.
- Get your child vaccinated: With advancement in medical science lot of viruses and bacteria can be kept at bay from your child. Just ensure that your child’s vaccinations are up to date and that he gets a yearly flu shot.
- Good Tight Sleep: Nothing can help your child like a good and sound sleep.Sleep is the way in which our body repairs itself. Lack of sleep also leaves your child prone to catch infections. Ensure sound sleep for your child. If you haven’t already established a bed and naptime, do that with immediate effect to protect your child from unwanted infections.
- Precautionary Home Remedies: In spite of all the protection and care taken by you, your child is bound to catch infections and viruses. Hence avoid mucus forming foods which have a tendency to increase and thicken mucus. Especially avoid milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, eggs and sugary foods.
- At first sign of a sniffle or a sneeze, you can offer your child powdered vitamin C mixed with water. Offer this water at regular intervals throughout the day.
- At first sign of shiver, make sure that your child is sufficiently covered. If you have an older child you can offer peppermint tea which has a soothing effect and helps in keeping the child warm.
- For a painful throat, you can try giving ginger juice mixed with honey.
Hope these tips helps you in keeping your child healthy in upcoming winter. Do share your tips in comments below on how do you keep your child healthy in winter.
Stay tuned for my next posts on home remedies to treat cold and cough.