December Newsletter: Children And Winter

We hope this latest update finds you and your loved ones well and that you are enjoying the build-up to the festive season. While this has been a challenging year for many, we are thankful for the support we have received in our first year of launch from colleagues and families, and hope that this final update of 2021 provides you with valuable information.

With the emergence of the new Omicron variant understandably causing concern for parents, it is reassuring that while cases are rising, symptoms continue to be mild in both babies and children of all ages. Our Childhealthy Covid-19 FAQs page remains relevant and available for you to review, even as things seem to change so rapidly. Do contact us if you have any concerns and use our social media channels, where questions are always welcome.

Children and winter

Winter health has been a big part of our focus over the past few weeks, with parents frequently asking what to do in the face of sniffs, coughs, colds, and general ill-health. 

Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about looking after babies and children in the winter months – and our answers.

Can my children play outside all Winter, even when it’s really cold?

We would never say it is too cold to play outside – provided your children have enough layers to keep them warm and have their extremities (fingers and feet) covered as well as their head, playing outside and physical activity should be encouraged.

For new parents, it is fine to take babies for a stroll in a buggy provided they have enough layers to keep them warm (at least one layer more than an adult might wear). This is beneficial for baby sleep patterns and parents too!

If you have older children who seem more into playing inside on tablets and watching television this Winter, you can refer back to our recent post about screen time – exploring recommendations and guidance for children of all ages.

What can I do about my child’s chapped and dry skin during the winter?

The best treatment for chapped skin is a moisturiser, specifically one which is designed for babies and children with dry skin or eczema. Mostly these are available over the counter at pharmacies. In some cases, medicated ointments may be needed, and best to consult your paediatrician if there are problematic areas of dry skin. The moisturizer you select for your children should be fragrance-free and applied to exposed parts of the body, especially when very cold.

What can I do about Winter sports injuries?

If your child engages regularly in Winter sports and activities, it is important to protect the most vulnerable part of the body – the head – with a helmet. If your child suffers a knock or a blow to the head during any activity, whether or not they are wearing a helmet it is crucial to check for signs of concussion or more serious head injury. These include a change in behaviour, trouble communicating, or vomiting – if you see these symptoms, you should take your child to a doctor or an emergency department.

Other bumps and bruises can often be treated at home with some TLC and a packet of frozen peas – though again, look for signs of a more serious injury and bring your child to see a doctor if the pain persists. For more information visit our advice page on minor injuries.

What can I do to look after myself as a new parent this time of year?

As well as keeping yourself fit and healthy, some of our wellbeing tips for new parents include:

  • Staying well hydrated
  • Getting outside for exercise at least once a day
  • Disconnecting from screens to help spend quality time with your family
  • Writing out positive milestones and experiences you have had with your baby
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself and ask for help and advice when you need it!

Please visit our winter advice page to learn more about keeping your baby healthy during their first winter.

Our Year at Childhealthy

We are really excited and proud of what we have achieved since launching the new Childhealthy website at the start of 2021. We have continued providing paediatric medical care and support to all our existing families and to an increasingly larger community of new families joining this year.

During this time, we have developed our monthly newsletters, shared advice articles, offered regular classes to parents of newborn babies and older children (see below for our next masterclass taking place in January 2022) and added new members to our team – including children’s dietitian Bianca Parau offering nutrition assessments and Consultant Paediatrician Dr Charles Stewart. We work with a growing team of recommended specialists to bring you the very best support and would like to take this opportunity to thank not only them and all the Childhealthy team but to all of the families who entrust the care of their children to us. We are very excited about plans for the new year to grow and develop our services and resources further.

Some of the recent topics we have covered this year include:

If you follow us on social media, you will have also seen that this month we asked our followers what they want to know about – with some of the questions including:

We invite you to ask any question on social media relating to baby and child health matters! These questions and many others will make up our content in the new year, so make sure you keep an eye on our social pages for that. Meanwhile, coughs and colds (and of course Covid-19) have been important topics over the last couple of months – and are covered in our November newsletter

Please share this newsletter with fellow parents, and follow and like us on Facebook and Instagram. Your support and feedback are appreciated and prove valuable in helping us improve these updates to continue to support parents just like you.  

If there are any other topics or questions that you’d like to see answered in our advice articles, then do let us know at info@childhealthy.co.uk and we will do our best to include them.

Thank you again for all your support, feedback and messages and for trusting us to care for your children. We wish you and your family a peaceful, healthy, and merry Christmas and holidays and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team.

Further Resources