Last year, India faced some of the darkest times during the months of April, May and June. There was a severe shortage of resources like hospital beds, oxygen, healthcare staff, and the mortality rate constantly surged during the second wave of Covid-19. This phase has taught us many lessons, ones that mainly teach us to value life in the most profound manner. The foremost lesson it has taught us is to be prepared for any impending crisis.
As of now, the eligible adult population who have received the Covid-19 vaccination are better off compared to individuals who haven’t. This brings us to the fact that your children are still at very high risk. India is a country with the largest adolescent population in the world, 253 million as per Unicef. It is estimated that 60 percent of children have been exposed to coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. There isn’t much that your kids can do to protect themselves beyond following Covid-19 guidelines already set and enforced by the government and healthcare practitioners. But there are things you can do improve their immunity.
It is essential to have a diet rich in protein, which is the building block for our tissues and body as a whole. A well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and wholegrain is a must to enhance your child’s immunity. Vitamin C can be found in oranges and citrus fruits, which increases immunity and functions as a barrier against infections. Leafy green vegetables are the best source of iron. Probiotics can also strengthen the immune system by keeping everything running smoothly. They should be consumed in the form of homemade yogurt or curd. A good amount of vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids, in walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts can help strengthen the immune system.
Children have been confined to their homes for too long now, which has taken a toll on their physical well-being. Physical activity and exercise are also essential for a child’s overall fitness. It also plays a crucial role in strengthening immunity. Also, during winter, parents cover the kids with layers of thickest, fluffiest and warmest clothes they own, but this could constitute problems. Instead, parents should try to layer one or two thin garments, which will both provide better insulation and adjustment to the temperature of the environment they are in. Children should often play outside whenever possible for fresh air and vitamin D.
Children often forget to drink water, so parents or guardians must ensure to keep track of their water intake and remind them frequently. Drinking enough water helps regulate blood circulation, supports the metabolism and facilitates the elimination of harmful substances and toxins from the body. Additionally, during the cold season, being indoors with room heaters decreases the humidity in the room. This causes the respiratory tract to become dry and irritated. It increases the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. This risk can be reduced by drinking enough water and keeping the little ones hydrated at all times.
Parents must ensure that their child follows a healthy routine that includes adequate sleep and physical activity. For proper development, a child requires at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep. It is critical for their mental and physical health as it allows the mind to relax and rejuvenate.
All germs, including the coronavirus, are easily transmitted as a result of poor hygiene and contact with other people or objects or via oral and nasal secretions. Children are also more likely to catch viruses from the constant touching of their mouths or noses. As a result, you should pay special attention to your child’s hygiene before and after each meal, after handling pets, after sneezing, after using the bathroom, and after arriving home from school.
Ensure that they wash their hands with soap for at least 15 to 30 seconds and take a bath every day after any outdoor activity.
Parents should ensure their children follow Covid-19 protocols like wearing double masks, sanitising frequently and maintaining physical distance. Unfortunately, we have been hit by the third wave of this pandemic. Hence, you must take utmost precautions to ensure safety – for yourself and for your kids.