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Most common winter illnesses in children

People huddled up in sweaters, shawls and monkey caps is proof that winter has finallyarrived in Mumbai and is here to stay. On one hand winter brings respite from the scorching heat, but on the other hand it also makes you susceptible to illnesses such as
cough, cold, flu, respiratory issues and the like.

Children love the outdoors irrespective of the weather. They love to run, play and explore their surroundings rather than being indoors. They also look forward to being set free ofthe multiple layers of clothing. All these factors coupled with low immunity makes children more prone to catching the bug.

Let us have a look at some of the most common winter illnesses along with simple and easy home remedies.

Common cold – this is characterized by running nose, chest congestion, cough and alsofever in some cases. Common cold can happen because of the dip in temperature and associated allergies. It is indeed a hassle to look after a child with a cold but nevertheless it's not difficult. Regular steam inhalation, home-made kadha, warm liquids, chest compressions and ample rest is required for a child to recover from a common cold.

Flu – this is a contagious respiratory virus. The symptoms are running nose, high fever, cough, congestion, body ache and even mild conjunctivitis. Regular steam inhalation, plenty of fluids, a good diet and ample sleep is essential for recovery.

Sore throat – this is a contagious bacterial infection which is more common between the age group 5 to 15. The symptoms include sore throat, trouble swallowing, fever and headache. This can be easily treated with simple home remedies such as salt-water
gargles, warm milk with turmeric and by resting one’s voice.

Stomach flu – this is an intestinal infection which can cause severe cramps. Commonsymptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, mild fever and fatigue. Parents should give plenty of fluids and easy to digest soft foods to children. They must also ensure that children maintain good hygiene by washing their hands frequently, especially before
mealtime.

Dry skin – here the skin becomes very dry and itchy causing rashes. Even the lips tend to become very dry and chapped. The easiest remedy for this is to apply a chemical free moisturizer like almond oil or coconut oil gently over the skin or pure ghee on the lips after a bath and during bedtime. This keeps the skin lubricated and relieves itching.

Last but not the least ensure that your child drinks plenty of water, eats fresh, warm home cooked meals, observes good hygiene, is exposed to natural sunlight and gets ample sleep. Reduce the frequency of eating out and replace it with colorful and attractive finger foods made at home. Once these factors are taken care of, their immunity will improve gradually and they will be less susceptible to such illnesses. So go-ahead, grab that mug of hot chocolate and goodies and enjoy a humorous children’s movie at home with your family

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