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Season change is every mother’s worst nightmare as she tries to keep her child away from sickness and illness. Here are some easy tips to safeguard your child’s health as the seasons change.
It is a beautiful experience to see the seasons change and witness the multitude of changes that nature goes through. The transformation and metamorphosis is beautiful. However, changing seasons can be a nightmare for a mother, as the only thing that’s going through her mind is – “I hope my baby doesn’t catch a cold or fall sick!”
Well, mothers – we are here to put your changing season woes to rest.
Video: Tips to Protect Your Child From Seasonal Sickness
Protect Your Child From Weather Change Sickness
Prevention is always better than cure. But sometimes, with taking care of so many things, it might slip our mind to take necessary precautions to keep our children away from season change-related sickness. As soon as you see those initial weather change sickness symptoms in your child, adopt the following tips and prevent the sickness from growing in intensity.
Here is the ultimate guide to keeping kids safe and healthy in changing seasons.
Note: All these tips are easy to follow, and require no special effort!
1. Keep Your Child Hydrated.
Water helps flush the toxins out of the body. But with respect to season change, the importance of water is increased even more because it helps the body regulate its temperature. When your kids are not hydrated enough, the nasal passage and throat become dry. This makes it easy for germs to enter their body. Just ensure your little one drinks plenty of water through the day; that itself can take care of half the problem.
Note: For children younger than 6 months, it is advised to not give them any water. Mother’s milk is enough hydration. In this case, just make sure you breastfeed your baby adequately.
2. Feed Your Child Citrus Fruits for Vitamin C.
There are different kinds of cells in our immune system that are responsible for fighting infections and keeping illness away. Some of these cells require an abundant supply of vitamin C to perform their functions well. When the season changes, eating extra vitamin C can act as a booster dose for these cells and help them perform their functions more efficiently.
Here are some Vitamin C rich foods to feed your child to boost his immunity against illness:
3. Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Dietary Fibre.
The food we feed our child, no matter how carefully prepared, can be a major source of pathogens and disease-causing germs. This is why, in our body, we have a major component of the immune system located in our gut. This component – known as gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) – constitutes and contributes to a large segment of the body’s first line of defence against pathogens and disease-causing microorganisms. For the proper functioning of the GALT, it is important we consume a good amount of fibre. Fibre – soluble as well as insoluble – plays a crucial role in clearing our bowels and keeping our digestive system running at optimal levels.
Make sure you feed your child fibre-rich foods:
- black beans
- chia seeds
4. Include Eggs, Fish, Chicken and Other Protein-Rich Foods in Your Child’s Diet.
The immune system of the body is a vast and complex system that requires a lot of energy to be kept running smoothly. The process of making cells, antibodies, fighting germs and pathogens, is a costly affair. In order to keep the body strong – especially the muscles – it is important to consume a good amount of proteins. In fact, did you know that all antibodies are actually complex protein structures? To build proteins, we need to eat proteins!
5. Ensure Your Child Eats Berries for Antioxidants.
Phagocytes are a kind of immune cell that act by ‘eating’ the bacteria that cause diseases and killing them. In the process of doing so, they release a lot of reactive oxygen molecules. These molecules, if not neutralised, can cause a lot of harm to the body. This is why we need to consume a good amount of antioxidants in order to keep our immune system healthy and running.
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, mulberries, as well as grapes, dark chocolate, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables are all great sources of antioxidants.
6. Include Dry Fruits and Nuts in Your Child’s Diet in Winter.
The most common weather change sickness is the cold that most children catch when winter comes. Not only do dry fruits and nuts give you energy, but they also give warmth during winter. One of the best ways, hence, to prevent your child from getting sick from cold weather, is to make them eat dry fruits and nuts. Make sure they consume almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins, and dry figs.
7. Feed Your Child Homemade Curd for Probiotics.
Curd contains a lot of good microorganisms that help keep our digestive system on track. As explained above in this article, the GALT in the gut needs to function well to keep infections away. One of the ways to ensure good gut health is to eat curd. Homemade curd contains living good bacteria that help keep the gut smooth and running. Apart from that, the calcium and protein in curd also have added benefits for our body’s immunity.
8. Make Good Use of Ginger, Tulsi, Turmeric, and Spices.
Ancient Ayurvedic texts are full of wisdom about the use of natural ingredients to keep all doshas in the body away. Ayurveda suggests the abundant use of turmeric, ginger, and tulsi to keep seasonal sickness, especially cough and cold, away. Turmeric milk, tulsi water, and ginger candy are some of the easiest ways to consume this. As for spices, make sure you include black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon in your daily food preparations in one way or the other.
9. Cover Your Child’s Head While Stepping Out.
The connection between weather change and headaches is very strong. It is mostly owing to the change in distance of the Earth from the sun, as the year progresses. The easiest way to keep weather change headaches away is to always cover your head when you are out in the sun. Prevent the sun’s harmful rays from directly hitting your child’s head. Carry a scarf, and insist your child wears a cap or hat. As far as possible, do not expose children to direct sunlight between 11 am and 5 pm.
As for babies, ensure you dress them in layers so as to maintain their body at optimum temperatures. Babies do not sweat, so we have to take extra precaution to regulate their body temperature. Keep their chest, back, and throat covered during season change. In winters, make sure they are warm enough.
10. Ensure Your Child Gets Enough Physical Exercise.
Most mothers will want to keep their children indoors as the seasons change outside. However, being indoors does not mean there should be no exercise. Make sure your child gets at least 30 minutes of stretching and basic exercise when indoors. If the weather is good enough to venture outside, a good 40-minute walk or run, or playtime can suffice.
11. Bathing and Massaging Should Not Be Missed for Babies.
The connection between hygiene and diseases is fairly clear. A high degree of personal hygiene will help you ensure your child does not fall ill when the season changes. If your child is only a baby, make sure you use good baby products. While a daily bath may not be recommended, baby wipes should be used abundantly around to keep weather change sickness away. Massaging should also be part of your baby’s hygiene ritual. Massaging helps a baby’s bones and muscles grow strong and improves blood circulation, in turn strengthening their immunity.
12. Ensure That Your Child Gets Good Sleep.
Sleep is the time for the body to rest, repair, and rejuvenate itself. Without a good night’s uninterrupted sleep, it will be of no use to follow all of the above steps. Ensure your child gets a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.
For Breastfeeding Babies
All the above-mentioned points are great for babies over 1 year of age, older children, as well as for adults. However, for newborn and breastfeeding babies, this is going to be difficult to implement! In such a situation, please follow the following precautions:
- Follow all the above points yourself and ensure you are taking the best care of yourself. Also, ensure your family members observe hygiene.
- Ensure you keep the baby’s things clean, especially toys. Toys can catch a lot of dust and germs.
- Breastfeed your baby as much as possible. All the food you consume can reach the baby through breastmilk, and keep the baby healthy and free from infections in the changing season.
- Ensure you follow your baby’s vaccination plan to the T. Do not miss any vaccines, and do not delay any follow-up vaccines either.
Do you follow any special tips to keep your family and yourself safe from weather change sickness? Tell us in the comments below.