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Coughs and Colds in Kids - How to avoid getting sick.
Symptoms of the Common Cold
For young children, coughs and colds are inevitable especially in the winter months. Children can become even more prone to infection when they enter childcare or school as they are in the company of other children and they must build up an immune system to the daily germs. According to doctors, antibiotics are often asked for when they are not really needed and therefore making them of no use to us when we really need them. It is recommended that we try to fight the common cough and cold by using good diet and lifestyle.
The common types of symptoms that you are most likely to see differ a little from an adult. A child can have a constant runny nose, irratating cough which is often worse at night leading to disturbed sleep. Earache and sore throat are other common symptoms. The symptoms of a chesty cough or a runny nose are often caused by the build up of mucus in the chest as the child lies down. It is the natural instinct of the body to expell this. It can help to place an extra pillow under your child's back (over 2 years old) or to raise the mattress of your baby's cot as this will help the mucus to drain and lead to a better nights sleep.
If your child's illness is prolonged or if they have a high fever you should contact your doctor as they may have developed an infection.
Helpful Aids To fight Colds and Flu's
Echinecea fights cold and flu by strengthening the immune sytem.
Steam can be used to loosen irritating mucus and provide restful sleep.
In order to prevent coughs, colds and flus in children, increase their intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. These contain vitamin C and helpful antioxidants that the body needs to fight off bugs. If the child does not like to eat fruit and vegetables try making juices and smoothies. See my Hub on Vitamin Boosting Juices for Children
Keep sugar to a minimum. Refined sugars interfere with the immune system. Try using honey on breakfast cereal, dried fruit as a snack.
Keep dairy products low if the child has a cough or cold. Dairy can be mucus forming.
Supplements Add in a natural Vitamin C supplement during the winter months in order to boost the immune system.
Good Lifestyle Habits
Try to stick to a regular bedtime. A good bedtime routine is good for everyone but plenty of sleep is necessary in order to build up a strong immune system.
Fresh air. Try to encourage children to spend time doing activities in the outdoors each day. This provides them with oxygen and blood circulation which will help the immune cells to patrol the body effectively.
Good Ventilation Try to let fresh air into the bedrooms and living areas of the home every day in order to get rid of bad bugs. Even 20 mins a day with the windows open can make a difference.
Good Hygiene Habits. Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly, especially after playing outdoors, before meals and after using the toilet. It is also important to dry their hands well. (change towels regularly to avoid damp towels which can harbour germs)