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Toddlers and Cold Weather - Tips to Keep Winter Flu & Colds Away

Staff Post

Posted on June 18 2018

Where did the sun go and the toasty days? The winter season and its cold and howling wind seem intent on making its presence known, doesn’t it? (Brrr!) It's also the time of the year when parents brace themselves for an impending nightmare -- the cold and flu.

Winter is beautiful by nature, no doubt about that, but it is also a great time for bacteria and germs to spread around friends and family like there's no end.

Let's face it, toddlers and cold weather aren't that compatible with each other and if you have kids, then chances are the cycle will just go round and round - one after the other - just when you think it's on the mend. Ugh!

So what's the fix?

In this article, we'll be tackling some tips to keep your child healthy and discuss effective ways to prevent chills and winter ills.

Boost up their immune system

Keeping the immune system healthy is something you need to prioritise for your kids and for yourself especially on colder days. The stronger the immune system, the better it can fight airborne diseases and allergies. One of the best winter health tips for parents is to incorporate vitamin and nutrient-rich foods and beverages into your child's diet such as the following:

Fruits - Especially those that contain a good amount of vitamin C such as strawberries, oranges, pomegranates, and guava.

Beef -  Beef contains zinc which is very important in the production of white blood cells - the very agent that destroy bacteria.

Yoghurt - This delicious snack contains probiotics which keep the digestive system in tip-top shape and free from disease-causing microorganisms.

Garlic - Contains allicin, an important compound that fights infection.

Staying hydrated

This may sound like the last thing on your mind during the chilly months, but when it comes to how to prevent a cold, drinking a cold glass of water is the answer. Kids need water for their bodies to fight illness and infection. Water not just carries nutrients to the cells, it also helps sweep off toxins out of the body. The ideal amount of water to drink for kids is half their weight so if your little one weighs 50 pounds, encourage him to drink 25 ounces of water every day - no excuses!

Limit sugary treats

It's a tough fight for adults and children alike to resist all the sweet treats that are ever so tempting, but we have to keep in mind that increased sugar consumption causes systemic inflammation which is bad for the immune system. Children who eat heaps of sweets are most likely to catch colds, flu, and other forms of infection. To bolster their immune system, make sure to limit their intake to one small portion per day.

Keeping their hands clean

It's one of the simplest tips to keep your child healthy yet a vital principle which is often overlooked by parents. Train your kids to always keep their hands clean by washing with both soap and water for at least 30 seconds, since it serves as a gateway for germs and bacteria to enter their bodies. The cleaner they are, the less likely they'll develop illness or infection.  

Wash hands during:

- Before and after each meal

- After holding another person, touching dirt, garbage, or animals

- After using the toilet

- After sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose

Getting enough sleep

We can't stress enough the importance of sleep in terms of keeping the immune system healthy. A good amount of sleep allows their young bodies to repair itself to fully recuperate. Thankfully, the cold temperature is so conducive for sleeping. Check the following recommended sleep hours for children if you're ain't sure how much sleep they need.

1-year-old below - 12 to 18 hours per night.

Toddlers ages 1 -3 - 12 to 14 hours each night

Preschoolers between the age of 3 and 5 -  11 -13 hours per night

Kids between 5-10 years old - 10 to 11 hours each night.

When it's time to see the doctor

Colds, flu, and most winter illnesses clear up on their own after a few days. On the occasion that it doesn't, contact your doctor right away to find out if it's turning into a more serious medical condition. Keep an eye on these symptoms that tell you it's time to see the doctor:

- Severe sore throat combined with fever

- A temperature of 103℉ or higher

- Diarrhea and/or vomiting

- Wheezing

How do you keep everyone in your household fit and well during the cold winter months? We'd love to know your secret. Drop us a line in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!