Babycare Health

Winter Health Problems in Babies & Adults - Home Remedies & When to Worry

Ambili S Kartha
0 to 1 years

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on Jan 07, 2020

Winter Health Problems in Babies Adults Home Remedies When to Worry
Reviewed by Expert panel

Winter has arrived, and with it comes cold and flu season. Viruses are responsible for most of the winter illnesses. Therefore, antibiotics have zero effect on cure or prevent these illnesses. Therefore, the treatment is aimed to relieve the annoying symptoms. Taking plenty of rest increased intake of fluids, and some home remedies can help in relieving symptoms.


What Are The Most Common Winter Illness in Children?

Whatever measures you undertake to keep your child away from the winter bugs, your baby probably won't get through winter without catching an infection. Here are some of the common winter health problems(diseases) your child may suffer and home remedies for the same:

#1. Cold

It is found that 99 percent of children catch a cold more than three times a year. Chilly winter days further increases the chance of catching a cold of the child.

How Do You Know If Baby Has A Cold?

The runny nose, stuffy nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing, are the primary symptoms of cold in children. Fever and loss of appetite can also accompany cold in children. 

What Are The Home Remedies For Cold in Children?

Avoid giving cold medicines for children under six years. Here are some effective home remedies for the common cold in children -

  • Drinking warm turmeric milk is an effective way to fight cold and cough.

  • Drinking lukewarm water frequently will help a lot in combating cold. Adding little honey into it will boost its efficiency

  • Give the child carrot juice. This home remedy is great to fight the common cold

  • Ask the child to sit in the bathroom with a steamed hot shower. This will help to ease nasal congestion.

How Long Does Cold Lasts In Babies?

Usually cold lasts about five to seven days in babies. More Often colds go away on their own after about seven to 10 days. Generally, no medication other than home remedies is required.


#2. Fever

Fever is nothing but a symptom rather than a disease. Temperature less than 102 degrees points out that the immune system of your little one is trying to fight off an infection. You can try the following natural fever remedies not only to ease your child's discomfort but also to prevent intensifying their temperature.

What Are The Home Remedies For Fever?

  • Give child sponge bath with lukewarm water

  • Increase the fluid intake to avoid dehydration. Feed the child hot chicken/ vegetable soup.

  • Bathe the child in lukewarm water. Adding a cup of apple cider vinegar to bathing water will increase the result to a great extent. Apple cider bath is one of the most popular home remedies for fever.

  • Dress baby lightly.

When Should You Worry About A Baby's Fever?

If your baby is under the age of 2 or 3 months any hike in temperature deserves medical attention. High-grade fevers that range from about 103 F-104 F also deserve medical attention, no matter the age of the child. You should also seek medical attention if the fever of 102 F is not getting better after 48 hours, even after taking home remedial measures. Also, if the fever is accompanied by Abdominal pain, Difficulty breathing or swallowing, immediate medical attention needed.  

Can A Child With Fever Have Milk?

Yes, you can. As long as your child not vomits, you can feed the child milk. Forbidding giving milk to a child with a fever is nothing but a false myth.

#3. Cough

Like a common cold, children can easily catch cough during the winter season. A normal cough can last up to two weeks. If your child's cough is not severe or not accompanied by symptoms like labored breathing and chest infection, you can treat it effectively by means of following home remedies.

What Are The Home Remedies For Cough in Children?

  • Rubbing Vapor rub containing menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor in chest and back significantly improved sleep in children with cough and chest infection.

  • Extract the ginger juice and add crush tulsi leaves to it. Now put in little honey and give it to the child. This will provide instant relief from cough. Honey has antimicrobial property and hence is a common ingredient in many home remedies.

  • Mix well a few drops of lemon with little powdered cinnamon and honey. This mixture is excellent to fight cough in children 

  • Giving children 10 grams of honey before going bed brings down the severity of their cough symptoms

When Should I Take My Child To The Doctor For A Cough?

Even after applying home remedies, if your child shows the difficulty in breathing, color change in lips or face, along with persistent cough, or if the cough is accompanied by high fever, you should seek medical attention to your child. 

#4. Ear Infections

Five out of six children are found to contract an ear infection before their 3rd birthday. Instances of ear infections of babies and young kids tend to peak during fall and winter. This is because during this period, the upper upper-respiratory infections such as cold and flu hike. The Eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal, and it hardly drains well. 

How Do You Know If Your Child Has An Ear Infection?

Earache is the primary symptom of earache in children. Small babies tugging or pulling or rubbing the ear and crying points to the possibility of ear infection. Trouble sleeping, fluid draining from ear, trouble hearing and earache with high fever are some of the symptoms of ear infection. 

What Are The Home Remedies For Earache In Children?

  • Putting a hot compress against the child's ear helps to reduce pain.

  • If your baby is older than six months, giving acetaminophen (Tylenol) just before bedtime may help relieve pain and offer uninterrupted sleep. The dosage should be as instructed by a pediatric.

  • Elevate the child's head by means of the pillow. This will help to drain the sinus effectively and hence will bring down the earache.

  • Homeopathic ear drops that comprise the extracts of ingredients such as garlic, mullein, lavender, calendula, etc. helps to relieve inflammation and ear pain in children to a greater extent.


#5. Stomach Bug

Ninety percent of kids are found to contract stomach flu at least once by age 4. It is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, probably accompanied by fever. While norovirus that causes stomach flu can strike year-round, they're more common during the winter. This is because norovirus survives for longer outside of the body during winter. Stomach bug lasts for 1 to 3 days making the days miserable for the child.

What are the Home Remedies for stomach Bug In children?

  • Make sure the child drink lots of water and fluids

  • Put the child in a BRAT diet. Brat Diet comprises of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Remember to make toast with whole wheat bread.

  • Avoid giving dairy products, fruits, and vegetables high in fiber, spicy and oily food

How Long Does A Stomach Bug Last In A Child?

The duration of the stomach bug depends on the type of the virus and your child's immune system. It can last anywhere from just a day or two to around 10 days. The child tends to vomit for just a couple of days, but diarrhea can last more than a week. 


#6. Dry Skin

As the dry winter air sucks away the moisture from the skin, dry skin will be a very common issue during winter.

What Are The Home Remedies For Dry Skin In Children?

  • Oatmeal bath

  • After every bath applies hypoallergenic baby lotion or oil onto your child's slightly damp skin.

  • Place a cool-mist humidifier in child's room

  • Use lukewarm water for the bath, and never use soap on the child.


Common Winter Health Problems For Grown-ups/Adults 

You may take every measure to keep yourself and your family away from winter illness. However, despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself or your family members get ill. Here are some of the common winter health issues yourself and your family may contract and home remedies for the same:

#1. Flu

The best way to prevent flu is to make sure everyone in the family gets an annual flu vaccination. 

What Are The Home Remedies For Flu In Adults?

Find out some of the home remedies to bring down annoying symptoms of the flu. 

  • Has warm chicken soup seasoned with black pepper daily? It is found that chicken soup helps to relieve the annoying symptoms of the flu.

  • Buy a neti pot in health food stores and try nasal irrigation. Clearing out nasal passages will offer some relief.

  • Flu virus thrives and spreads in dry environments. Therefore, placing a humidifier at home may reduce your exposure to this flu-causing virus.


#2. Common Cold, Cough, And Sore Throat

The episodes of cold, cough, and sore throat increases during winter.

What Are The Home Remedies For Common Cold, Cough & Sore Throat?

  • Boil water with black pepper and cumin. Add little jaggery to it. Consume this mixture when warm. This will give instant relief from chest congestion associated with cough.

  • Garlic has both antibacterial and antiviral properties. Sauté a few garlic cloves preferably in ghee. Chew it down when it is warm. This will give fast relief from common cold and cough.

  • Drinking ginger tea helps in treating the common cold, cough, and sore throat to a great extent.

  • Using menthol leaves in steam therapy will help to get relief from blocked sinus that accompanies the cold. Because of the antibacterial and pain-relieving property makes menthol the main ingredient in many vapor rubs.

  • Gargling with warm salt water helps to combat a sore throat.


#3. Joint Pains

Many people with arthritis say their joints become more painful and stiff in winter. Following home remedies will help to alleviate joint pain.

What Are The Home Remedies For Joint Pain During Winter?

  • Wherever you go outside during cold winter days, make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands, add extra layers over knees and legs. 

  • People with joint pain should always stay active. If the joints are not moved more often, the pain tends to increase. Therefore do indoor exercises on a treadmill and an elliptical trainer.

  • Swimming in a heated pool or bathtub or even getting a warm bath helps to soothe joint pain. 

  • Acupuncture is another option for relieving joint pain during the winter season 


#4. Asthma

Cold air in winter set off of asthmatic symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath. Therefore asthmatic people should be more careful during winter. Besides staying indoors and being cautious about taking regular medications and inhaler, following home remedies help to get fast relief from asthmatic attacks.

What Are The Home Remedies For Asthma During Winter?

  • It is found that caffeine can potentially improve the breathing for up to four hours; therefore, having black tea and coffee will help to bring down breathing issues. 

  • Eucalyptus oil can be effectively used to combat asthmatic attacks. Put down a few drops of eucalyptus into an oil diffuser and sit near it. Now try to take deep breaths. No need to worry if you don't have oil diffuser. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the hot steaming water and breathe in the vapor slowly.

  • Massaging chest with a mixture of warm mustard oil and salt helps to relieve asthmatic symptoms.

 

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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