When it comes to winter health, there are a number of tips that can help you ensure the health and well-being of your children during the winter months. 

We will be making some common sense recommendations in order to ensure a good start to having a safe winter season.

First Things First

Doctors recommend you get vaccinated against flu every year and vaccinating the elderly is one of the ways we keep the serious complications of flu to a minimum. We don’t know how covid is going to hit us during the winter, however indications are that a second wave could be on its way.

Helpful Tips

Bring reusable bottles of water such as sports type, or sealable lid bottles with you to use at school. 

This is because public faucets and water fountains can be contaminated with germs, especially during the cold and flu season. 

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Teach your children about what the American Academy of Pediatrics calls “cough etiquette” by teaching them to turn their heads and not sneeze into others when they have to sneeze.

Rather than simply cough or sneeze on their hands, cough and sneeze into the elbow. Sneezing on your hands is the main reason in which they then transmit the germ to everything they touch. 

Encourage your child to avoid colds or flu and to avoid or minimize infections by bringing their own drinks, lunches, and packing a useful hand sanitiser bottle in their bags.

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Don’t panic If your child suffers from a cough when he or she has a cold. If you don’t already know, ask your pediatrician if he or she might have asthma, because children typically develop chronic cough that lasts most of the winter. If a child’s breathing worsens in winter, it may be a good time to take him to the doctor for an asthma test – or asthma treatment.

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If your child has eczema, this can be a problem, especially for children’s hands and it is exacerbated by frequent hand washing. 

Using mild soap or soap substitute when bathing your child and applying moisturiser quickly (within minutes) for eczema can help prevent or treat dry skin.

 However, you need to apply moisturiser several times a day and apply it quickly and within a minute.

Children with eczema often have red, itchy skin all year round, but it can be worse in winter. Talk to your pediatrician if the usual eczema therapy does not work in winter to get advice on treating difficult-to-control dry patches, or if using topical steroids or moisturisers does not work to control your child’s symptoms.

Other Things Not to Panic Over!

Remember that your child may get nosebleeds if they have a cold, sinusitis or an allergy, and they can cause a lot of damage to their nose. Since nosebleeds are caused by dry air, you can prevent them by moisturizing your children’s noses daily with saline or nasal gel.

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Remember as well that if you do have a flu shot you can also catch the flu as the strains differ. But, flu protection is there to help the most vulnerable and most doctors do still recommend them.

However, even the nasal spray for flu vaccinations is made from live, attenuated viruses and should not be used on people with weak immune systems.

Wrap up Warm, Exercise More!

Children can catch a cold when they don’t wear a jacket, their hair gets wet or when they play in cold weather. Children can also catch a cold by playing in large groups. 

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By providing their children with vitamins and minerals that are said to boost their immunity, parents can help to prevent their child from catching a cold and getting the flu in winter. Additional vitamins or minerals can protect your child from diseases in winter, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper and vitamin D.

Take note though, that despite our mother’s warnings as kids, the cold and flu infections are caused by viruses and not by being out in the cold.  Again, someone who has a cold can get sick if your child plays with them outside.

SunScreen, Allergies in Winter??

The rays of sunshine may not be as strong in winter as in summer, so don’t forget to use sunscreen all year round – even 24 hours a day. In winter, sunburns are not forgotten, and the sun reflects off the snow and onto the skin and can cause skin cancer. Being underdressed in cold weather is not a good idea, especially when you are out and about in the snow.

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Children can play in the snow as long as they want without feeling cold or hypothermic, but if they feel cold and tired, they should come to your house to warm up.

Not all children have seasonal allergies, which are only triggered in spring and autumn, but some children have allergies all year round – even in winter. Children can stop taking their allergy medications in the winter, and children who take them in the summer would probably do well to continue taking them.

Every time a child has a runny nose, they may need an antibiotic, especially if the discharge is green or yellow. This is because it can lead to an infection, which is not necessary in most people, but is often caused by a cold or another virus.

Be Safe with the Heating On…

Everyone should do everything in their power to install carbon monoxide detectors in their home, but it is especially important to use one with a high-performance detector such as those available at most DIY shops.

There is evidence that radon exposure to households can occur anywhere in the country, and children are particularly vulnerable. The winter months are the best time to do a radon test and test your home for radon, but there are many other factors that can cause breathing stress, such as poor air conditioning and inadequate ventilation, which can also cause cancer due to pathogens in the air.

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Remember that many parents use a cool humidifier in winter to help with nosebleeds and dry skin in children, but high humidity can multiply mould in your home. We need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of using humidifiers and remember that, even when they work, they are not always the best option.

For ultimate viral, and air protection, check out our Room-30 UVC air sterilisation system which can kill viruses and bacteria in the air. This makes the home much more safe to occupy and is a fraction of the cost of other comparable systems.

Keep Wrapped Up, Keep Active!

Children should wear at least two layers of clothing to keep warm, especially when playing in the snow. Normally, an extra layer is added to what an adult would wear for comfort, but children should not wear more than two or three layers, even if it is just shorts and trousers or a jacket.

Try to keep your children physically active in winter, especially if you live in an area where you can regularly play ice hockey or snowboard. When it is too cold to play outdoor sports, many children stay active by playing in the snow, even if mum and dad don’t want them to! 

Keeping active is important at any time of year but in the winter when lives are more sedentary ,it’s even more vital. 

Disinfecting your home is also one of the top tips and our UVC air sterilisation can help ease your worries in this regard.

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