Flu is more prevalent
And more Severe this year
Flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective this season.
This is Accuweather’s prediction for this weekend.
It sounds brutal. Let’s avoid falling sick. Know that.
· Young children generate less body heat, and get cold more quickly than adults.
· It is better to dress your child in layers of clothing that can be put on and taken off easily.
· Infants being pulled in a sled need extra bundling. Because they aren’t moving, they can’t generate body heat the way a playing child can.
TIPS TO MANAGE KIDS IN WINTER
· Children shouldn’t play outside alone. Establish a buddy system. Better yet, avoid outdoors. Never send children outside in extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms.
· Check often to see that your child is warm and dry. Younger children should take regular breaks and come inside for a warm drink.
· If your child’s feet and hands are warm, what they are wearing is usually good. Dress your child in layers of clothing that can be put on and taken off easily. Wear a hat because a lot of body heat is lost through the head. Keep ears covered at all times. Wear mittens and wear warm, waterproof boots that are roomy enough for an extra pair of socks and to wiggle toes. Use a neck warmer instead of a scarf. Remove wet clothing and boots immediately after playing.
· The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
· If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be tucked in around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant’s face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.
· Stay away from snowplows and snow blowers.
· Take extra caution when crossing roads. It might be hard for drivers to see you playing if they have snowy or frosty windows. Icy roads can also make it difficult to stop.
· Snowballs should never be aimed at people or cars. They are especially dangerous when the snow is hard-packed or icy.
· Don’t put metal objects in your mouth. Lips and tongues can freeze to the metal and cause an injury.
· Don’t eat snow, which can be dirty.
· Never sled on or near roadways. Look for shallow slopes that are free of trees, fences or any other obstacles.
· If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips. Do not rub the frozen areas. After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
· If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum may help keep nasal tissues moist.
· Children 6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu.
· If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.
Source: Multiple including NIH, Healthychildren
WHAT IS A COMMON COLD?
The common cold is transmitted from person to person, usually by touching a person who has a cold, or touching something that that person has touched (like a door) — and then touching your mouth or eye. Colds can occur at any time of year, but are more common during the winter months. The average child has 6 colds a year, although children in daycare or
preschool can have them more frequently.
Typically symptoms of a cold are runny nose, sneezing, mild sore throat, cough and a slight fever. Most colds last between one and two weeks, and progress from watery runny nose and possibly a mild sore throat to thicker mucus and congestion with cough.
The most important thing about colds is PREVENTION. Wash your hands after being outside of your home, and tell your children to do the same. Making sure that children get enough sleep and eat well also helps to prevent colds. For young babies (less than 2 months) try to avoid contact with people who have colds, and try to avoid crowds and gatherings where someone almost certainly has a cold.
There is no “cure” for a cold. Our bodies fight off the cold without any need for medicines, and we cannot make them go away any faster with medicines. Antibiotics (like Amoxicillin) do not help colds. The only thing we can do for children is to make them as comfortable as possible and wait for the symptoms to go away.
Although many people use medicines to make their children feel better when they have a cold, there are several things that you can do for your child AT HOME that may be better than giving medicine:
1) Have your child drink lots of fluids. Many children lost their appetite with a cold, and may drink less as well. By encouraging them to drink more, you will help make the mucus thinner, and make them more comfortable.
2) Use saline drops and a bulb syringe, or a saline nose spray to remove the mucus. See the instruction sheet available in the pharmacy for how to prepare the saline and use the bulb syringe.
3) Humidifier. If you have one, then a humidifier may help to keep the nose, mouth and throat moist, making your child more comfortable.
4) Use some Vaseline (petroleum jelly) around your child’s nose to help prevent it becoming sore.
5) Try and have your child get extra rest. It is not necessary to restrict their activities or keep them home from school or daycare, but slowing them down a little may help them to feel better.
6) Remember that fever is not all bad. Fever may help to fight the cold.
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR:
The common cold strikes adults two to three times a year on average, while children under age 2 develop colds about six times a year.
Colds are not caused by cold weather but by 100 types of Rhinoviruses.
· The best way to avoid a cold is to keep your hands germ-free.
· using alcohol-based disinfectants and gloves, are also effective in preventing the cold. But soap is more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
· In children, taking zinc (10 to 15 milligrams of zinc sulfate daily) works, too. This is found in meat, beans and nuts, and appears to be effective in reducing the number of colds per year.
· There is some evidence that probiotics may help prevent colds but it is unclear why.
· Gargling water, eating garlic, exercising and homeopathic remedies — didn’t provide clear or sufficient evidence.
· Cold viruses love eyes and noses but rarely leap mouth to mouth. So avoid rub your eyes and giving kisses.
· There’s no vaccine or cure for the cold, which usually takes a week to fully resolve.
· pain relievers ibuprofen are effective in relieving pain and fever, but not in relieving other symptoms.
· Taking antihistamines combined with decongestants or pain medications appears to be somewhat effective in treating the symptoms of colds in people older than age 5.
· Humidity can relieve congestion.
· As for nasal sprays, the drug ipratropium may alleviate a runny nose, but it is not effective in treating congestion.
· Vitamin C and antibiotics showed no benefit for treating the common cold.
· People who are happy, lively, calm or exhibit other positive emotions are less likely to catch colds and report fewer symptoms of the illness.