Winter Safety Tips for Pre-schoolers and Toddlers

5-12-14a

 

It is that time of the year when there are infections abound in the air. Your little one inevitably catches it either at school or day-care. Runny noses, wheezing, hacking coughs and god forbid, a temperature!

While a certain amount of sickness is inevitable, a few household precautions and remedies can help prevent these infections or allay the symptoms.

Healthy Food: Luckily, winter brings a wide range of fruits and vegetables in abundance. Orange is chock full of vitamin C, instrumental in boosting the immune system. So prepare fresh orange juice daily, else fill your kids lunch box with freshly cut slices of oranges with some salt.
Lightly boiled peas are also a great snack (only for children over 2 years). Alternately, make a broccoli and peas soup for supper. Bring in the soups! You can make a wide variety of soups using broccoli, potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, carrots eggs and chicken. You could even prepare one pot stews with all the veggies thrown in with a portion of grains and proteins of your choice.

Can contagious viruses be prevented?  If there is someone who has a cold or a flu, taking your child away from the surrounding will not really help. The symptoms of any flu or cold virus develops only after the virus has been present in the system for 48 hours or more. This means that most people stricken with viruses are contagious even before the symptoms show up.
So quarantining your child against an infected person will not really help, especially  if your child has been in contact with the person before the symptoms appeared.

So what should you do? Washing hands regularly can help getting rid of flu and cold bugs. So before every meal, after every toilet visit and after returning from a friend’s house or school are times when you should ask your child to wash hands. Lead by example, whenever possible!Ask your child’s day care or school authorities what kind of hand washing policy they adopt. Ensure that it is enough to protect your child from contracting viruses through unwashed hands. Also ensure sick children are not regularly attending school. Or if it inevitable, the sick bay is away from where the healthy kids usually are.
Ensure your child’s vaccination is up to date.

Nursing a sick child – some quick home remedies

  • Try saline drops for a blocked nose.
  • Avoid unnecessary exertion. Although children will play, ensure it is not strenuous. You could set him up on the bed with his favourite toys.
  • Tank up on fluids. Children lose fluids quickly when they are unwell. Running a fever or diarrhea will only compound the fluid loss.
  • Encourage your cold to drink water, electral, soups or milk.
  • Use garlic oil drops to relieve congestion.

To treat a low grade fever, try cold compress before administering medicine (consult your child’s pediatrician before trying any new medicine)