Seasonal changes are like clockwork. They take place every year without fail. And every time there is a drop or increase in temperature, infections are on the rise. Cold, sore throat, flu, allergy and tummy troubles are some of the ailments that happen frequently with every change in season.
Studies have shown that climate change in is not directly responsible for the illnesses. The change in weather just provides a conducive environment for the viruses to multiply and spread. All they need is cool and dry air, and they will thrive. Though you may not be able to control the weather, you can protect your child by following a few simple dos and don'ts.
Eating the right way
The importance of a good diet can't be emphasized enough. Children are picky eaters in general. Getting all the good vitamins and minerals into their body is a bit of a challenge. Include foods rich in vitamin C, anti-oxidants and zinc in their diet if they are to remain healthy all year round. Pick foods that are appropriate to the season. Drinking buttermilk in monsoon/winter may trigger off a cold in some children.
Dehydration occurs throughout the year. It is as important to drink plenty of water during the rest of the year as it is in summer. Give your child plenty of fluids in the form of water, juice or buttermilk – a well-hydrated body can fight infectious diseases easily.
Every time your child steps out of the house, he will be assailed by infection-causing germs. Most infections are transmitted from hand to mouth. The first step to safeguard him is to encourage him to keep his hands clean by washing them. Try to keep your child away from crowed places if possible to prevent exposure to bacteria and germs.
Ensure your child bathes twice a day in summer to ward off infections caused by sweat. Keep track of the bath water temperature during the cold months of winter, so she does not catch a chill. If you are washing her hair, ensure that it is completely dry before she steps out of the house.
Turning to herbs
Herbs and other natural remedies are one of the best ways to keep healthy, especially during changing weather. While turmeric, ginger and lemon are found commonly in most kitchens, also make it a practice to use basil, honey, cinnamon and other natural ingredients regularly. They will help boost your children's immunity.
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Processed and junk food
These foods take up space in the stomach without providing any nutritional value, making your child feel full. This will discourage her from eating healthy food. So, make it a rule of thumb to allow junk only if your child has eaten his quota of fruit or veggie for the day.
Keep out mosquitoes
Mosquitoes breed rapidly during the monsoon, causing diseases like dengue and malaria. Make your house mosquito-proof by fixing nets on all the windows and other entry points. Make sure there is no stagnant water around the house.
Being active will help your child develop immunity. This will help her fight most illnesses, including the seasonal ones. So, gently nudge your child to go outdoors regardless of the season. Encourage her to play her favourite games and be active.
Contact with allergens
Allergies are at their peak during summer and spring. Allergens such as pollen, mould, dust mites and fur are found in droves during these two seasons. It is important to keep your house clean at all times, but more so during allergy season. Ensure your spring cleaning is done on time. When you child is going outdoors, teach them to stay away from plants and trees that might spread pollen.
Protecting your child from the vagaries of the weather may not serve the purpose in the long run. Expose them to the changes in climate, allow them to get wet in a shower once in a while or to play in the sun occasionally and you’ll find them developing the resistance to diseases.
The changing seasons are a thing of beauty. The human body can adapt to these changes. The next time a seasonal change comes along, don't panic. Follow these dos and don’ts, and you’ll sail through without falling ill.