As winter sets in, children often face a heightened risk of common winter illnesses. The chilly season brings about a surge in ailments such as cold, flu and respiratory infections among kids. This usually happens due to exposure to cold weather, crowded spaces, and weakened immune systems. To reduce the risk of kids falling sick in winter, parents and caregivers must remain vigilant, recognizing symptoms early to provide timely care. Read on to learn why kids get sick in winter and how to protect your kids from common illnesses.
This condition involves inflammation of the small lung airways, causing mucus buildup and respiratory distress. Common symptoms include cough, fever, runny nose, and rapid breathing. Nearly all children experience this infection by age two, with most recovering naturally.
Addressing congestion can involve using saline drops in the nose, while a cool mist humidifier can enhance comfort for a child with nasal congestion. It’s crucial to clean and dry the humidifier to avert bacterial or mold contamination before you use it. Notably, hot water vaporizers are not recommended due to the potential risk of burns in kids.
This is a common sickness caused by a virus, and it usually has mild symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, and a runny nose. Young kids often catch a lot of these colds before they turn 2. The reason is that young children still need to build up defenses against the many different cold viruses. Getting many colds doesn’t mean a child has a weak immune system; it just shows they’ve been around a lot of viruses. Colds typically last about a week but can stick around for up to 2 weeks.
It is caused by bacteria and occurs in children between 5 and 15 years of age. Symptoms include fever, pain in the throat, difficulty swallowing, and headaches. A cough and running nose generally do not accompany it. A red rash can sometimes occur with it, which is known as scarlet fever. It can be easily and quickly treated with antibiotics.
This is an intestinal infection with symptoms such as loose motions, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, and body aches. Plenty of fluids should be given to prevent dehydration with the ORS (oral rehydration solution). Avoid giving fruit juices and fizzy drinks, as they can worsen diarrhea. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, proper hand washing, and vaccination against rotavirus are important strategies for the prevention of gastroenteritis.
Cold weather increases the risk of dehydration as it alters the thirst sensation. Kids don’t feel as thirsty when the weather is cold, so they don’t drink much, which can cause dehydration. The body also loses water due to increased fluid loss through breathing. The signs of dehydration are dry lips and tongues, sunken eyes, dark urine, passing less urine, and a small volume of urine. The amount of water to be consumed by children depends on their age. Kids under 8 years old should drink 4 to 5 glasses of water and kids above 9 should drink a minimum of 6 glasses.
To prevent dehydration, keep a filled drink bottle handy for regular sips throughout the day. Water-boosting foods such as green leafy vegetables, milk, oranges, strawberries, and yogurt should be included in the diet. If kids are not fond of plain water, incorporating fruits can add flavor, such as cucumber, mint leaves, lime, and lemon.
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Keep these tips in mind to protect your child during the winter season and consult with your doctor whenever needed!