Welcome to Childhealthy’s latest update. We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year! As we enter January, it’s important to recognise that while winter can be an incredibly fun time for children, such as playing in the snow and enjoying cosy days at home, it can also present some dangers. With shorter days, freezing temperatures and rising flu and virus cases, we have put together some winter safety tips to help parents keep their children healthy throughout the winter months.
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- Wrap up warm
- Stay hydrated
- Practise good hygiene
- Winter vitamins
- Stay up to date with flu vaccine and COVID vaccines
- New Childhealthy pages
- Childhealthy updates
- How to reach us
Wrap up warm
Staying warm is one of the most important health tips for parents in the winter. Going outside to play with friends or enjoy the snow can help kids form lasting and positive memories, but it is crucial that you dress them appropriately for the weather. A good rule of thumb for dressing children for very cold weather is to put them in one more layer than you would for yourself. So, if you wear three layers to go outside, you should dress your children in four.
The first layer should be thin and breathable to prevent children from getting too hot as they play outside. A middle layer should be a warm and cosy jumper or hoodie that will keep their body heat in. The final outer layer should be a winter coat, ideally, one that is wind and waterproof. Warm and sturdy high-quality hats, shoes, gloves and scarves are also crucial to keep your children happy and warm.
We all know the importance of keeping hydrated throughout the hot summer months, but many people don’t realise how easy it is to get dehydrated in the winter. Dehydration can cause dry, chapped skin, nausea, headaches and fatigue, so it is crucial that you be vigilant in ensuring your children stay hydrated even when it’s cold.
Some of the best ways to ensure your kids get enough water in the winter include:
- Having them take water and refuelling breaks when playing outside every two hours
- Giving them fruits with high water content to snack on. These include pineapple, oranges, peaches and apples
- Serving warming soups, broths and stews at mealtime
- Giving them hot drinks like hot chocolate and herbal tea
While fruit juices and fizzy drinks are a popular choice for many kids, these should always be given in moderation due to their often-high sugar and caffeine content. When possible, stick to water and other healthy drinks to keep your kids hydrated.
Practise good hygiene
Viruses can be passed on very easily during the winter months since children spend more time indoors with friends and schoolmates. Winter is flu season, and it is vital that you take steps to educate your children about good hygiene to improve their chances of avoiding unpleasant illnesses like the flu. Good hygiene to help prevent the spreading or catching of illnesses includes:
- Washing hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser
- Using a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Sneezing into the elbow if tissues aren’t easily accessible
- Washing hands before and after using the bathroom or eating
For more information, please read our newsletter on when to keep your children home from school and nursery.
In one of our previous newsletters – The Best Vitamins For Children In Winter – we explained how important it is to take vitamins during the winter months. Vitamin D, in particular, is a crucial addition to a wintertime health routine. We normally get most of our vitamin D from the sun, but in winter, with short days and bad weather, it is hard for kids to get as much vitamin D as they need. Vitamin D is vital to support your immune system, ensuring that your children will be able to fight any illnesses they get during the winter.
It is important to find ways to add crucial vitamins to your children’s diet. The best way to do this is through a healthy balanced diet, but it can also help to give your kids a multivitamin containing all the vitamins they need. Some additional vital vitamins for children in winter include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3
For more information, please visit our child nutritional assessment page.
Stay up to date with flu vaccine and COVID vaccines
Vaccines are important for children and adults to help fight serious illnesses and prevent them from spreading. They can help prevent your kids from contracting illnesses like the flu or COVID and reduce the severity of the symptoms they experience if they do fall ill.
Though winter is already underway, there is still time for your kids to get their flu vaccines. However, it is important to be aware that vaccines can take up to 30 days to start working effectively, which is why they are often recommended in autumn or the beginning of winter.
Here at Childhealthy, we offer flu vaccines for children that are ideal for helping them stay healthy and happy throughout the winter. Get in touch today if you want to learn more or book your child in for a vaccine. Please refer to our vaccination schedule for more information.
New Childhealthy pages
Information On Group A Streptococcus Infection (Strep A): Over the last year, there has been a reported rise in the number of infections caused by Strep A. Read our latest article to find out more about Strep A and scarlet fever.
Diagnostic tests available – At Childhealthy, we are able to offer a wide range of blood tests and diagnostic test profiles to help give you peace of mind as a parent. Follow this link to view our diagnostic test profiles, and do also feel free to get in touch or book an appointment.
How to reach us
Follow us on our social channels for regular updates from the Childhealthy team, and as always please do let us know about any topics you want to see covered via email – email@example.com.
We hope you have a great month and a lovely start to 2023.
Wishing you all the best, Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team.
Disclaimer: Information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child please contact your doctor for advice.