When temperatures drop, children need extra attention to stay warm, safe and healthy. Young children are less likely to recognize when they are cold and more likely to lose body heat quickly due to their smaller size. Here are some tips to protect children when the thermometer dips:
Put several layers of clothing on your child and make sure their head, neck, and hands are covered. Dress babies and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear. You can layer the top half with a little t-shirt to start, then a long sleeve vest over that, then a thin jersey, and then the thickest layer on top of that, which is usually a zip-up hooded top or jacket. It sounds like a lot, but if the bottom 3 layers are relatively thin, they still allow the child to move around without feeling too bulky.
Keeping the feet is very important, so children should always have their feet covered with socks, knitted socks or warmers. One should buy boots or thick shoes which will keep the child move around freely and not fall ill.
GET YOUR CHILD VACCINATED
You can help protect your toddler from some viruses and bacteria simply by making sure his vaccinations are up to date and that he gets a yearly flu shot. Flu shots also help later in life and this step a mandatory to keep your little one healthy. Vaccines make your child immune from a lot of bacteria and viruses.
MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD WASHES HIS/HER HANDS
Regular hand washing is the simplest, most effective way to get rid of cold and flu bugs. So help your child wash his hands with soap and warm water after he uses the toilet, before meals and snacks, and as soon as he comes home from daycare, the playground, or a friend’s house. You wash up, too, especially before preparing food and after you change a diaper or wipe a runny nose. No need to use antibacterial soap — plain soap and water can do the job. Make sure your child’s caregivers are vigilant about hand washing, too.
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer, sunburn, premature aging, and eye damage. UV damage in childhood significantly increases our risk of skin cancer. So it is important to help children develop good sun protection habits. Children and adults can still get a sunburn in the winter. Sun can reflect off the snow, so apply sunscreen.
KEEP THEM HYDRATED
In drier winter air kids lose more water through their breath. Keep them drinking and try giving them warm drinks and soup for extra appeal. The artificial hot environment we create can cause dehydration in our body and skin. Drinking eight glasses of water a day helps our body maintain its fluid balance and even helps us keep our skin rejuvenated. Don’t let the cold weather fool you, and don’t eliminate drinking water.
** Make sure your child does not have any nut allergies before giving nut butter.**
Smearing some nut butter onto thin slices of apple, a little biscuit, or anything really – will make your little one drool more than they already are. It can be a bit messy, but that’s part of the fun, and nut butter are packed with nutrients and a naturally sweet nutty taste that your child will love. Exceptional Foods sell a delish Macadamia nut butter.
Turmeric is a magical spice that you can incorporate into many meals and drinks and it’s so super good for the whole family. Spice a little into your scrambled eggs mixture before cooking and it will turn them into a bright yellow-orange color, which is often more exciting for the child to play with anyway. They love colorful foods! A lovely warm drink for a toddler as an alternative to hot chocolate is a cup of warm milk with some cinnamon and turmeric spice and a dash of raw honey for some sweetness.
Offer your child a variety of healthy foods so he gets the nutrients he needs. Green vegetables provide all sorts of nutrients necessary for the body. Make sure he gets plenty of sleep each night as well as lots of physical activity every day.
CHECK THE ‘SICK-KID’ POLICY
Make sure your child’s preschool has a reasonable policy on keeping sick kids away from healthy ones. Many facilities require a child with a fever, the flu, vomiting, diarrhea, or an eye infection to stay home until these symptoms subside. If you notice obviously sick kids at your child’s preschool on a regular basis, it’s probably time to chat with the caregiver or director about enforcing the rules on sick kids more stringently.
Food for thought? What do you suggest for your child this winter? Share your ideas/experiences with us in the comments section.