HOW TO TAKE CARE OF SCHOOL-GOING KIDS IN WINTERS

Dr. Munir Hussain

3 min read

winters in Pakistan

While winters in Pakistan are a lovely—if brief—time, the ongoing constant cases of fever and flu can be tiresome for mothers of young children. For mothers, winters come with an onslaught of cold, flu, dry skin and stuffed nose for the children. Here are a few tips for you that can help you this winter take care of your children:

Improve hygiene 

The source of infections is the stubborn bugs that thrive in the cold. To prevent infection through these bugs, inculcate regular hand washing habits in your children. Hand washing should be a must before and after eating (as is the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet SAW). Washing the hands frequently will reduce the spread of germs. 

Infection can also be avoided by discouraging children from eating a lot of candy and sugar. Sugar and candies decrease the natural immunity of the body and weaken the body’s system to fight infections. 

Another important step for better health in winters is to get a flu shot (for children above the age of 6 months) after discussion with your healthcare provider. For children and the elderly, flu shots in every winter season can prevent serious infections from occurring. 

Teach the children the cough etiquette 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be taught the cough etiquette. AAP describes the cough etiquette as teaching the children to turn their head to the side and cough and sneeze either into a disposable tissue paper, or the inside of the elbow. Hands should not be used to sneeze into, as the germs will then spread onto everything they touch. 

Keep the exposure to cold at a minimum

Toddlers and school-going children do not have the same tolerance for cold as adults. It is important in a very cold season to limit their outdoor activities and their exposure to the cold. In case they do have to be in the outdoors, they should be dressed warmly enough.

Moreover, mothers should make use of winter accessories for school-going children, like gloves, mitten, or hats. Try sewing a name tag on the accessories of your children so that they do not keep getting lost in school. Such winter accessories go a long way in keeping your child warm and comfortable. 

Dress your child in layers, which can be easily taken on and off. Infants, especially, need a lot of bundling as compared to school-going children, who can generate a lot of heat by staying active. Exercise precaution even while choosing to clothe school-going children.

For instance, remove drawstrings from the clothing to remove the hazard of it catching on something while playing. Moreover, a neck warmer should be used instead of a scarf to remove the hazard of choking. 

Use the heating devices with caution

Many accidents during the winter season are caused by furnaces and heating devices. Heaters that run on natural gas, can increase the level of carbon monoxide in the house. Consistently high levels of carbon monoxide can cause poisoning when the levels of this gas become high in the blood.

Children are particularly susceptible as not a high amount is needed for poisoning. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in the home can be of help in such cases. Other precautions should also be taken like turning off the heater after a few hours, and not sleeping with the heater turned on. 

Electric heating devices are a better option especially if you have young school-going children in the house. But caution should be taken with electric devices as well, and children should not be left unattended around such devices. 

Winter tips for medical conditions:

Asthma: diseases of the respiratory tract like asthma can be triggered by the cold weather. If your child suffers from asthma, then make sure to equip him with refills of asthma relief medications (like inhalers), and have an asthma management plan ready in case the child suffers from an acute attack. Consult your healthcare provider about starting a preventive regimen for asthma.   

Eczema: the cold, harsh weather turn the sky pretty dry, which can trigger or exacerbate asthma. Kids with eczema have itchy, red skin that can worsen in the winters. If your child’s symptoms are not controlled with over-the-counter steroid and moisturizer, then it might be a good idea to seek help from a pediatrician. 

Dry skin: is quite common during the winter season. Lack of humidity, dry air outside and the heating system indoors can often cause children and adults alike to suffer from dry skin. The dryness can turn the hands scaly, and be exacerbated by frequent hand washing.

Encourage your child to use a mild soap and then moisturize the body quickly after bathing to avoid dryness of skin and eczema. Moisturizer should be reapplied several times a day during winters. 

Keep yourself and your children safe this winter; discuss your child health with the right professional and book an appointment with top pediatrician in Lahore, Karachi and Multan through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Munir Hussain Dr. Munir Hussain Shah is a Nutritionist practicing in Multan. Dr. Munir Hussain Shah has the following degrees: MBBS, PGD (ALOU) and has 32 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Dr. Munir Hussain Shah by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button.He loves to write on healthcare to raise awareness about general healthcare issues in Pakistan and advise patients on healthy living. If you wish to read his healthcare articles and advice, please visit the following links: