With the mercury dropping further in December, winter has finally arrived in India. It is the season of celebrations; you prep for Christmas put your feet up, and take some time off the regular humdrum. However, it may not be as jolly good a time for young parents with kids, considering they need extra care to stay protected from the chill and cold outside.
Kids are particularly susceptible to cold-borne diseases like the flu and viral fever. So, if you are a parent, this post seeks to offer every trick in the book so that your child can stay warm and safe during winter.
For convenience, we have divided this article into two halves – kids’ care in winter and baby care in winter.
Today, washing one’s hands at regular intervals has become more critical than ever. Ideally, this habit should now become a convention for the sake of safety. Remember, your kids’ immunity is still fledgling, so you must take every precaution and remind them to wash their hands with soap and water, especially before eating.
To double the layer of protection, use hand sanitisers at all times.
NOTE: Sanitisers aren’t soap substitutes; they should complement hand-washing. Also, carry paper soaps with you whenever you take your kid outside. These are convenient, easy to use, and offer the same level of protection as your regular bar and liquid soaps.
The idea is to attend to your kid’s hygiene at all times, for that will reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19, and other bacteria and virus-borne diseases as well.
Let your child go outside and play. However, ensure they wear warm clothes before they head out. The most common disease during winter is cold, and a protective layer of clothing will go a long way in securing your kid’s health. However, you must choose the dress carefully.
Don’t put heavy clothes on your kids. Layering still is the best way to dress your child. Put on a light cotton t-shirt, and then add another layer of clothing that will keep them warm. Thermals or woollens will serve the purpose.
Dry skin and chapped lips during winter are a menace. Kids’ lips and cheeks tend to lose moisture quickly, which could cause them to crack and bleed.
Thankfully, you have an easy solution to this problem.
Ensure you must apply moisturiser on your kid’s body and face before you take them out. Even if they don’t step out anywhere, you can still do with a moisturiser, considering the skin tends to dry instantly after a shower.
Remember, nothing beats nutrition when it comes to building immunity. Include foods rich in Vitamin C in your child’s diet. Remember, the regular intake of vitamins and minerals can bring down the risk of contracting cold-borne diseases significantly.
Make kid-friendly dishes your little ball of sunshine will love. These include dry fruit balls, whole-wheat crackers, chicken soup with veggies, scrambled eggs, and blueberry yoghurt. These are not only delicious but extremely easy to make.
NOTE: Staying hydrated is just as crucial. Drinking adequate fluids helps flush toxins out of the body. Kids usually dig hot cocoa/chocolate drinks, and these are healthy as well, owing to them being rich in antioxidants. Moreover, consuming fluids replete with Vitamin C can reduce the severity of common cold and flu.
You must also include green vegetables and protein-rich foods in your kid’s diet. This will not only boost immunity but also enhance muscle growth. Further, milk, cheese, okra, spinach, and the likes are rich in calcium, which immensely contributes to denser bone formation.
Hopefully, these precautionary measures will help you keep your little ones safe in the winter. But for parents with infants and toddlers, things are trickier.
In cities, where winters can get frigid, your home may not be comfortable for your baby. Therefore, you must keep a check on the temperature inside your house. Suppose, you are using a room heater to keep the Celsius elevated. In this case, it may bring down the humidity and subsequently cause skin dryness.
A simple way around this problem is to install a humidifier that will help keep the humidity in check.
There’s a reason why older members in the family advise young parents to massage their babies, especially before a bath. Massaging with oil improves blood circulation, boosting immunity from within. The science to this is that the massage relaxes your baby’s muscles, which stimulates blood flow and keeps the skin moisturised.
That said, please ensure that the room is warm enough so that your baby doesn’t catch a cold. Don’t compromise on the quality of the oil.
Give regular baths to your infant in lukewarm water, and ensure that it’s not too hot for your baby’s skin. To check if the water is comfortably warm, dip your elbow or wrist into the water. If it feels too hot, wait for some time and let the water cool down a little. Wrap her in a soft towel after the bath.
In addition to what’s mentioned already, ensure that the room temperature doesn’t vary widely. It may have an adverse effect on your baby’s health, considering her body would not be covered in adequately-warm clothing, right after the bath.
Doctors advise breastfeeding till the age of six months at least. It is recommended to continue breastfeeding your baby, even if you have begun solid foods. That’s because mother’s milk contains all the vital nutrients required for an infant, which help strengthen the child’s immune system.
In case you have started giving solid food to your baby, include soups in the diet. Apart from delivering nutrients in their simplest and most edible form, it will also keep your little one hydrated. Keeping your baby hydrated is essential for the same reasons that we mentioned in the kid’s winter care section.
Wash your hands with soap at regular intervals. Remember, you are the first point of contact for your baby. So, unless you are taking care of your own hygiene, you always leave the door ajar for contamination.
Moreover, make sure people around you also adopt the strictest of measures when it comes to personal hygiene, considering that will help keep your child safe. If you are a mother, take care of yourself and follow a balanced diet as well. It will make sure your physical and mental well-being is reflected in the child.
Don’t make your baby wear thick fabric that doesn’t breathe, as that can hinder her natural reflexes and muscle movement. Instead, choose warm and cosy onesies for her, for that will ensure optimum protection and leave ample room for normal limb function. Remember to dress your toddler in keeping with the room’s temperature. A snug, the warm blanket should help her sleep tight.
Hopefully, the tips discussed in this post should prevent your child from falling sick in this season. However, should she still catch a cold, consult a doctor immediately. Also, don’t worry about taking your baby outside the house for a stroll. That’s because unless the chill is unbearable, taking a walk is always a good idea to get some fresh air.
Please note that you must not step out early in the morning, as air pollution is typically at its highest during that time of the day.
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