10 things to know about seasonal changes
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Oct 21, 2019
With the season playing hot and cold, children are falling ill very frequently and easily and more often than not, the complaint is always of runny noses and itchy throats. Here, are 10 things you should know about dealing with seasonal changes. These have been put together with inputs from Dr Ananda R.
1) Consider flu vaccine: If your child is missing out on school days and is losing health very frequently, consider getting him inoculated with the flu vaccine. Each year, a new influenza vaccine comes in the market that is meant to build antibodies in you for the virus strain for that year and the affect lasts for a year. The vaccine takes a couple of weeks to give results so ideally time is just before the seasonal allergies begin. You can consult your paediatrician for the same.
2) Avoid crowded, enclosed places: When the infection is at its peak, avoided going to crowded places especially enclosed ones such as a movie theatre if your child is very small. Also, if your child is down with the flu, do not send her to school till it subsides as she can transfer it to other children.
3) Brief your child well: Children as young as 2 and 3 can understand basic instructions. Tell them to avoid coming in contact with someone who has a cold or a cough, wash hands frequently, avoid touching their noses and face too much, use a hand sanitizer, and use tissue paper to sneeze or wipe their noses etc. you will have to take the lead here, but they eventually learn.
4) Boost intake of Vitamin D and C: Vitamin D and C are known to boost immunity. For Vitamin D you will need to start on supplements as food sources are limited. But for Vitamin C, give your child ample citrus fruits to eat and include treats like amla candy or amla murabba in the diet. For older children, soak dry amla in water overnight and make the child drink the water the next morning. This gharelu nuskah is supposed to be effective.
5) Some bouts of cold do not necessarily indicate poor immunity: Getting sick is a part of growing up and each child will fall sick atleast 6-8 times a year. So, unless the immunity problem is manifesting into some serious illness, don’t stress too much.
6) Maintain distance: If you are sick and have a small child at home, maintain distance. Sleep in a separate room, avoid picking up the child too much, or wash your hands when you must, etc.
7) Take extra care of hygiene: As cold and flu are spread through contact, sharing hand towels in the bathroom can transfer the virus to the child. Wash linen, especially pillow covers, night suits, quilt covers in hot water and change daily till the child recovers. This will also control dust mites. Also, since the cold virus is a really stubborn and can last up to a few days without a host, ideally, after the child has recovered from a bout of cold, change his toothbrush as that could be carrying the virus still.
8) Simple solutions work best: If your child is prone to nasal allergies, rampant in this season, and develops itchiness escalating into a cold, a steam inhalation works well to wash out all the allergans from the nasal passage. Older children can be taught to do jal neti to get rid of the pesky allergy causing particles. Or nasal washing with saline water and gargling.
9) Follow good practices through the year: Maintain healthy practices such as eating well, sunning your rooms well, washing clothes in hot water, sanitizing babies things, using tissues during cold and disposing them off responsibly etc. through the year than at a time when the cold hits. Once the virus enters your body, it will take its due course.
10) Prepare in advance: If your child is particularly sensitive, then prepare before hand. Keep antihistamines and nebulizers handy. Avoid sending him outdoors at peak pollution hours, instead take him out early mornings.
While you may not be able to completely avoid falling sick due to seasonal changes, these tips can reduce the severity and help you deal with the illness better.