Seasonal changes and children | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 25, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 25, 2018

Seasonal changes and children

Winter is usually when children love to go out, spend a nice vacation and participate in some fun winter sports. Falling ill takes away all the fun, and not to mention is dreadful to the child and their family, so prevention is always better than cure. 

Sore throats, runny noses and the occasional fever along with some mood swings are what winter spells for children. As the atmosphere suddenly takes a turn, the young bodies cannot always cope as quickly. Although most tend to go away within a day or two, some stubborn coughs and flues stay back, making the holidays horrible for the children.

 

DEHYDRATION

Winter tends to be a dryer season, but the lack of sunshine and sweat often puts children off of drinking adequate amounts of water. This will not only lead to dehydration on the inside, but will dry out the skin from the outside as well. So make sure to have children hydrated to keep them healthy inside out.

 

A COMPLETE WARDROBE

Children are often wrapped in sweaters and mufflers, but sometimes the ears are neglected. When cold winds blow into the ears it can lead to a cold much faster than most other parts of the body, no matter how well they are covered.

Ear muffs or wrapping scarves around the ears should work to prevent the cold from reaching the inner ear. You can also go for ear covering headwear that would double as protection against the cold.

 

DREADFUL COMMON COLDS

This is the first thing that seems to not only hit children, but adults too. What starts off with a mild headache transitions into full body aches, suppressed appetite, and overall weakness and lethargy. All of these attacking children at once is really hard on them, and forces them to spend their vacations in bed. Precautions here should include avoiding cold drinks, and food as soon as you feel winter is almost here. If your child is naturally prone to colds and coughs, avoid food that will cause excess mucus and a runny nose like bananas and yoghurt. Also, include lots of vitamin C rich food and an occasional ginger tea. If situation still happens to escalate, make sure to consult a doctor immediately.

 

TROUBLESOME TONSILS

Having that ice-cream probably did not hurt, and that brain freeze only lasted for a few seconds. But what will last for a much longer time is a tonsil infection and it will make your kids' mealtimes a living hell.

Some of the earliest symptoms will include itching in the throat and will follow up to problems swallowing the food. It is best to visit a doctor as soon as you suspect an infection, because the sooner you do, the faster it starts to heal. Gargling with warm water is also a good prevention method when your child has a slight itch in the throat.

Make sure to always have the child's heads and ears covered and reduce their exposure to cold air from fans or air conditioners. Cold food can be a cause of tonsil infections, but so can common viruses and bacteria, so make sure your child does not share utensils or water bottles at school or outside.

 

ESSENTIAL SHOWERS

Surprisingly, a lot of children avoid regular baths in the winter because they feel chilly and do not find it necessary as they don't sweat either. But this could badly affect their health by leading to a build-up of germs and bacteria, especially in places like their hair. Too much showering is also harmful as it leads to dry skin, and may lead to a cold, depending on the duration of the showers; balance is key. 

 

OIL MASSAGES

Oil massages are more than just comforting, they keep the body warm and moisturised from the dry and harsh winter. Mustard oil, almond oil, olive oil and coconut oil are some options one can use. Generously apply a handful all over the body and massage it in. The massage helps improve blood circulation and is best done before a bath.

 

VASELINE: A CHILD'S BEST FRIEND

Peeling skin and cracked lips are only a start, but as these get worse they can eventually lead to bleeding, which is more painful in the winter than in other seasons. So always have their dry spots covered in Vaseline or some other heavy moisturiser that will prevent such occurrences.

 

SEASONAL ALLERGIES

Some children develop allergies in certain weathers, and the winter is one of those weathers where it happens pretty frequently. If you see excess coughing or allergies developing, or any other tell-tale signs, do consult a doctor immediately, and prevent anything serious from developing. 

 

USE HUMIDIFIERS

The dry atmosphere is the root of a lot of winter problems, and a humidifier helps to solve that by adding moisture to the air.

 

Photo: Collected

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