There is a nip in the air. Mornings and evenings become cold. The afternoons are better. Hence, you don’t know how to dress up your little ones at times. In a fortnight or so blankets would be required. The cold season has its share of joys and wonders. However, before winters set in full swing, the change in weather can be a challenge to many. From seasonal allergies to viral infections during the change of season, one needs to watch out.
Viral rashes without itching are also quite common lately. With no respite from coronavirus and the current pollution levels, this changing season is going to be a challenge for many. Hence it is always better to be prepared than regret later.
4 Viral infections and home remedies:
Before you are caught unawares, look out for these symptoms in children and treat them with these simple home remedies.
1. Sore throat
One of the most common diseases because of viral infections during the changing season is a sore throat. Though it can be easily managed, if not taken care of in time, it can be a signal towards a bigger infection. For children, it can be quite discomforting to have a sore throat.
What causes a sore throat?
- Air pollutants
- Indoor dryness
- Tumour in the throat
Symptoms of sore throat
Children need to be monitored during the changing season. Also, it is important to look out for these symptoms of a sore throat so that they can be given timely treatment and the problem doesn’t flare up.
- Swollen, dry, and scratchy throat
- Severe pain in the throat when swallowing food
- Red tonsils
- Mild cough
- Bad breath
The easiest and most simple home remedy for sore throat is gargling with
lukewarm saltwater. Nonetheless, little children find it difficult to gargle. Hence, they can be made to sip on warm liquids.
2. Ear infection
Ear infection in kids is a very common problem with kids. Especially during the changing season and winter months. We might be often clueless about what to do about ear pain in babies. If not treated timely, ear infections can become severe or chronic.
What causes an ear infections?
- Change in climatic condition
Symptoms of ear infection
- Discomfort in the ear
- Swelling Blocked ears
- Pus-like secretion
- Hearing loss
An ear infection requires medical intervention. But if it is at an odd hour where you cannot reach a doctor, try a warm and cold press alternatively. Also, make the child stretch the jaw muscles by chewing or sucking on a candy.
Another disease that you surely need to watch out for this season is
pneumonia. Though a bacterial infection, it usually starts with a viral and fungal infection. The tiny air sacs in the lungs get clogged and get filled with fluid. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach the bloodstream. Since this is a life-threatening disease, make sure to read the symptoms before it is too late.
What causes pneumonia?
Most of the time, pneumonia begins with an upper respiratory tract infection. From there it moves to the lungs. But factors may vary.
- Pneumonia caused by bacteria
- Pneumonia caused by a virus
Symptoms of pneumonia
Symptoms of pneumonia are various. But the viral infection symptoms are different from the bacterial ones, though it is not very obvious.
- Fast and heavy breathing
- Wheezing or grunting sound during breathing
- Stuffy nose
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite in older kids and poor feeding in infants
- Belly pain with constipation
- Less activity and lethargy
If it is bacterial pneumonia, medical intervention is required. But if it is viral and is a mild case then taking precautions at home can work. Sipping on warm liquids will help as a viral infections home remedy. Consequently, let the child take steam with essential oil of eucalyptus and menthol.
Asthma in children during the changing weather can be quite unnerving. Children sensitive to allergies, cough, cold, and dust are at risk. If not treated timely, asthma can become chronic.
What causes Asthma?
- Dust mites
- Inhaling pollen
- Respiratory infections
- Cold Pollution
- Pet allergens
Symptoms of Asthma
Timely intervention is possible to keep asthma at bay. Therefore, one needs to be aware of the symptoms.
- Frequent coughing
- Wheezing or whistling sound when breathing out
- Chest congestion
- Shortness of breath
- Bouts of coughing or wheezing that aggravate with a cold or flu
With pollution levels rising at an alarming rate with the changing season, resort to simple home remedies. Though not a total cure, but these can keep the menace at bay.
- Keep indoor air clean
- Maintain the humidity levels indoor
- Dust your house regularly
- Reduce the child’s exposure to cold air
- Control pet hair in the air at home by keeping the pets outside
- Make sure your home and surrounding areas are clean
The Expert Talks:
Dr. Charu Kalra, a well-known pediatrician, recommends fighting the viral
infections head-on. Kids are on frequent nebulization as soon as the season
changes. But is this all one can do? Dr. Charu has this list of dos and don’ts for protection against viral infections and allergies during the changing season.
Also, read Immunity-boosting foods for young and adults!
What should be done to prevent Viral Infections?
- Build up immunity: Make sure your child eats 2-3 servings of fruits, more of citrus and seasonal fruits, vegetables, lots of grains and legumes in their daily diet. Take a good amount of lung-protective vitamins and minerals – Vitamins and minerals provide that extra protection to the body. Give your little one the right amount of these by including them in their daily diet. Vitamin A (carrots, pumpkin), Vitamin C (citrus fruits), Vitamin D (supplements), and Zinc (whole grains, nuts especially cashews, and seeds like flax seeds).
- Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds or sauf have been found astonishingly beneficial for the prevention of asthma attacks. Let your kid have some fennel tea or fennel milk.
- Pine nuts: There are enough scientific proofs regarding the merits of pine nuts for asthma and allergy prevention. Hence, pine nuts in form of nuts or as pine nut oil can be used regularly.
- Use air purifier: Generous use of air purifiers in the house not only prevents allergies and asthma attacks but also decreases the chances of frequent infections. Use a good quality HEPA 6/7 filter especially while sleeping at night time.
- Make sure the nose of the child remains open: Frequent use of nasal saline drops and regular steam inhalation (one can put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a steamer for better results) can help reduce seasonal cough and cold. Be aware of the dos and don’ts for a blocked nose.
Also read: Did you know this about your house’s indoor air quality?
- Never delay the examination of the child with cough or frequent cold. Also, don’t forget to discuss the family history of allergies with your munchkin’s doctor.
- Never stop any medication without the doctor’s advice.
- Don’t stop nebulization/inhalers abruptly. To put it straight across “inhalers or nebulization is not at all habit-forming, rather they delay the progression of the disease and improves the quality of life”. So until and unless advised by your doctor never abruptly stop inhalers.
- Avoid dust accumulating materials in the house. If your little one suffers from seasonal allergies remove fur soft toys from the room. In addition, make sure there are not many rugs in the house. Don’t keep unnecessary cushions, fur pillows, and rugs in the house. They accumulate dust leading to an increase in symptoms of viral infections.
- Avoid activities related to allergies during the change of weather: Usually, there are 4-5 season changes witnessed in a year and if one gets to identify this period and take precautions allergy bouts can be reduced to a great extent.
- So avoid house paints, wood paints, any carpenter related work, or even rigorous dustings during these season changes.
It is not possible to completely cure viral infections as there is no medicine for viruses other than vaccination for prevention. For the infections mentioned above, vaccination would not work because there is a limit to the number of vaccines we can inject into your child’s body. All we can do is reduce the symptoms and thus the inconvenience.
As the saying goes, when you have a viral fever, it will go with paracetamol in 1 week and without Paracetamol in 7 days but with these remedies. Nonetheless, you can reduce the effect of infection.
Disclaimer: As much as TCT support the natural and alternative remedies for treatment we request our readers to consult a doctor if the problem persists.