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Keeping Winter Illnesses at Bay

Some common winter illnesses in kids, their causes, cures and how to prevent them

Keeping Winter Illnesses at Bay

Sentinel Digital Desk

It is very important for parents to take extra care of their children in winters, especially at the onset of change in weather. Eating food items that boost immunity must be encouraged. Also eating green leafy vegetables and fruits must be encouraged. Parents must ensure to feed them a balanced diet as per their age.

Wintertime is when colds and flu are more common, although there aren't always obvious causes. One false misconception is that being cold might make you ill. Illness is not caused by being chilly in and of itself. However, as a result of spending more time indoors when it is cooler outside, youngsters are more likely to spread illnesses and viruses. In the cooler, less humid air, some viruses can even flourish and propagate more effectively. Wintertime nasal mucus may be drier and stickier, which some individuals think may have an impact on the spread of viruses. The immune system may become more prone to illness and less effective in warding it off if regular sleep or food schedules are disrupted while travelling in the winter.

Children get ill because of the sudden change in weather. And cold, flu, stomach bugs strike a child when the weather is erratic. Evidence only supports our preconceived notions.

However, there is a correlation between shifts in weather and the spread of infectious diseases. When the weather changes, it can bring about conditions that facilitate the spread of viruses, such as when the air is dry or when large groups of people congregate indoors. These alterations in the environment as well as in the behaviour of humans can potentially lead to increased levels of contagion. It's not that exposure to bad weather makes you sick. That is caused by viruses. However, the weather might play a role in the occurrence of certain circumstances that boost one's chances of catching something.

Some of the common winter illnesses are:


RSV, also known as respiratory syncytial virus, is a typical viral respiratory illness that, in infants under the age of two, can result in bronchiolitis. Although several viruses can cause bronchiolitis, RSV is one of the more frequent causes, making it potentially dangerous for infants. So, it is very important on part of their parents to cure RSV and consult a doctor as soon as possible if symptoms of RSV persist.

RSV symptoms consist of: fever and symptoms of upper airway obstruction, such as wheezing and runny nose, breathing quickly.

RSV symptoms often begin gradually over the first 1-2 days and then get worse between days 3 and 7. RSV can continue up to two weeks, although some children may experience symptoms for as long as three weeks.

Parents can attempt a vaporiser to assist in keeping the air moist and make breathing easier as well as use a bulb syringe and saline drops to eliminate nasal secretions and provide lots of water.


The flu is a highly contagious respiratory virus known as influenza.

The following symptoms are commonly present at the time of the flu's abrupt onset: High fever (103–104 °F), Cough, clogged nose, Congestion, body or muscle aches, moderate conjunctivitis (red or irritated eyes), possibly child diarrhoea/vomiting.

Cough and cold

The common cold is a viral infection that frequently has milder symptoms, but young children can initially experience a low-grade temperature. Colds can strike at any time of the year, despite the fact that they seem to occur more commonly in the winter. A cold can be caused by a variety of viruses and last for 5–14 days.

Typical chilly signs include: nasal congestion, cough, fever and throat ache, but vomiting and diarrhoea are typically not experienced at the same time as colds.

It's important to encourage and reassure a child who is sick with the common cold. Make sure your child gets adequate sleep, and help them to stay hydrated. Children under the age of six shouldn't be given cough and cold medications. The use of some cough drops and cough syrup can be helpful to children above 8 years of age.

Strep throat

It is more common in the fall, winter, and early spring to contract strep throat, a dangerous bacterial infection. Children from 5 to 15 years old are particularly susceptible to it.

These are some examples of strep throat symptoms: throat discomfort swallowing issues, fever, an upset stomach, headache, strep throat does not come with a cough or runny nose. When children with strep throat see a red rash, scarlet fever is often diagnosed.

Antibiotics are an easy and effective way to treat strep throat. Abscesses in the throat, retropharyngeal abscesses, and, in rare cases, rheumatic fever are possible side effects of strep throat. The need of treatment cannot be overstated if you fear your child has strep throat.

Stomach virus

An intestinal ailment known as viral gastroenteritis is also referred to as the stomach flu or a stomach bug. Norovirus is the most prevalent cause; therefore, it is unrelated to the influenza virus or the common cold. The symptoms of stomach viruses can be severe and last for a variety of time periods. Vomiting often lasts one to two days, but some GI symptoms might last up to a week.

Viral gastroenteritis symptoms might include: vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, slight fever, headache, fatigue.

Kids and parents should be sure to thoroughly and frequently wash their hands because these viruses develop quickly—typically within 12 to 48 hours.

Parents should provide their children with supportive care by giving them plenty of water or ice chips, as well as simple-to-digest foods, to help them through the symptoms of stomach flu. Anti-diarrheal or anti-nausea medication may be prescribed in extreme circumstances.

These are some of the common illnesses in children.

How can illness be prevented?

Illness can be prevented by following some basic steps such as washing hands frequently even after blowing nose, staying updated about vaccinations, eating healthy food, drinking enough water, getting enough rest, wearing mask, exercising regularly, sanitising hands. It is very important for parents to take extra care of their children in winters, especially at the onset of change in weather. Eating food items that boost immunity must be encouraged. Also eating green leafy vegetables and fruits must be encouraged. Parents must ensure to feed them a balanced diet as per their age.

Checking out with doctors at the onset of change in weather will be beneficial. This is because every child is different from one another and checking with the doctors will give an insight to the parents about their child's health. By doing so, the right thing can be done at the right time and illness can be prevented. So, it is commonly said that prevention is better than cure. And if parents prevent illness, then children can fall less sick and enjoy winters as they please.

Also Read: Dehydration Blues in Winter

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