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Winter diseases: awareness and protection

We huddle inside our cozy homes when winter sets in. Sounds like a dream, no? However, because of the tight quarters at both home and school, it is simple to spread the disease. Additionally, kids are more susceptible to illness since they don’t always practice good hygiene as adults do.

Influenza is the illness that keeps kids away from school the most. The virus can survive for a while on desks, toys, and other shared items and is easily spread by coughing or sneezing. Although the flu is contagious, it can also be avoided.

First, why do kids become sick more often in the winter?

Although common illnesses like the cold and flu are more prevalent in the winter, the causes are not always obvious. One urban legend holds that being cold might make you ill, however, this is untrue. Illness is not caused by being chilly. Children spend more time indoors together during colder weather, which makes it easier for them to spread illnesses and germs. 

Children are particularly susceptible to infection, so they become unwell quickly if someone else in the house is diseased or if someone who is infected has previously visited the house.

Widespread diseases in the winter

Children may suffer from a variety of ailments throughout the winter. The most typical pediatric winter diseases are listed below.

#1 COVID‑19

The respiratory disease COVID-19 is contagious and can produce a variety of symptoms, such as fever and cough. Any time of the year, especially the winter, children can contract COVID-19. As extremely contagious COVID-19 variations proliferate, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for symptoms and take precautions to avoid getting sick.

Without testing, it is impossible to distinguish between COVID-19 and a cold or upper respiratory infection. As a result, if your child exhibits any symptoms or was exposed to COVID-19, it is essential to have them tested.

#2 Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Children under the age of two frequently have this type of respiratory infection. Bronchiolitis becomes an issue when the infection spreads. Infants who have RSV may experience major complications. 

The first signs appear after two days and may intensify over the following three to four days.

The sickness’ signs include: 

  • A runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing
  • A fever
  • Congestion in the upper airways

#3 Influenza

Another rapid respiratory infection is influenza, also referred to as the flu. Numerous signs and symptoms of the flu include: 

  • A runny nose
  • Coughing
  • High temperature
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild conjunctivitis

When flu symptoms are identified, they can be treated with antiviral medication. These medications have the ability to cure the condition in around 48 hours.

#4 Sore throat

An infection caused by bacteria known as streptococcus can occur not just in the winter but also in the fall. Children between the ages of five and fifteen are the ones who experience this the most.

You can discover the following common signs of strep throat in your child:

  • Migraine
  • An upset stomach
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Difficulty swallowing 

Antibiotics are a good way to treat strep throat if that is all it is. But it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible if the child has been diagnosed with scarlet fever.

#5 Common Cold

The common cold is a wintertime ailment that affects practically everyone. Viral fever may also result from it. Even though the common cold and viral fevers are more frequent in the winter, any youngster can have them at any time of the year. A child may experience viral fever for a week to two weeks.

The following symptoms, among others, can be used to identify a common cold or viral fever: 

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Fever

General health advice for kids during the winter

Undoubtedly, some bacteria will find their way into your house. It could be inevitable. There are certain things you and your kids may do to try your best to leave those germs behind and lower the chance of getting sick when it comes to winter health. 

  • Teach children to stay away from those who are obviously ill. 
  • Get a flu vaccination every year. 
  • Keep up with the most recent COVID-19 boosters. 
  • By delaying exposing your newborn or early infant to large crowds of people until he is older, you can reduce or avoid diseases. 
  • Help the kids consume nutritious foods and plenty of water and get lots of sleep. 
  • If you’re feeling under the weather, stay at home to avoid transmitting germs. 
  • Instead of utilizing the school water fountain, which may become contaminated with germs, especially during the cold and flu season, bring a reusable water bottle to class. 
  • Explain the proper ways to wash your hands. 
  • Teach your children the proper coughing technique. Children should be taught to turn their heads and cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or the inside of their elbow. 
  • Children should be dressed for the weather by adding one extra layer to whatever an adult would wear to be comfortable. When children are outside, they should dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting, light, closely woven clothing underneath a heavy jacket to keep them warm. 

Final word

Winters are beautiful because of the wonderful weather they provide. However, it is also the time of year when many illnesses tend to spread, particularly among children. In order to fight illnesses, parents should take extra care of their children and instill good hygiene practices in them.

Additionally, allowing kids to eat wholesome foods and get enough sleep can undoubtedly aid in preventing these disorders.