Winter might be best known for holidays and fun-filled activities, but it is also known for being cold and flu season. Spreadable viruses are active all year, but some say we may be weaker in the winter because we spend more time together indoors, and the viruses can spread easily from person to person. The best way to protect ourselves from them is to make sure we follow proper hygiene, such as washing your hands commonly and covering our mouths and noses when we cough and sneeze. The more you know about winter illnesses, the better you can protect yourself and family members from them.
Here’s a list of winter-specific diseases/illnesses and ways to protect you and your family.
Cold and Fever
One of the most common illnesses related to winter is cold or fever. While these can affect the people of all ages and at any time, winter is awful due to a sudden drop in the temperature. Symptoms include weakness and pain in the body, continuous sneezes, headache as well as lack of taste. Home solution includes washing hands regularly to kill cold and fever causing germs that the children might have picked up from touching surfaces like door handles, ground, sports equipment, and even phones. Do not give children banana and curds. Give them fruits rich in Vitamin-C. If fever persists for more than three days, consult your family physician.
One of the most common viral infections in children during winter is a sore throat. Symptoms include difficulty in eating, swallowing, and talking. Home solution includes gargling with salt with warm water four-five times a day.
Winter season is a major cause of asthma and related symptoms like coughing. Although it’s difficult to exactly pinpoint what causes asthma in winters, allergens, especially pollens present in the air can trigger shortness of breath in children with a previous history of the disease. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing. Home solution includes wearing of the scarf over nose and mouth, using the air purifier at home, staying indoors, and keeping inhalers accessible.
Caused by air-borne bacteria and viruses, and most common during winters, tonsillitis, also commonly called as tonsils in India, is the inflammation or swelling of the tissues of the tonsils at the back of the throat. Symptoms include swelling, difficulty in swallowing and eating, sore throat, and irritation. Gargling with warm water mixed with salt is one sure shot method to reduce the pain. Don’t eat any cold items like ice cream and others.
Ear infection is an extension of cold and can also be caused by water retention in the ear. It can cause severe pain in children. It can occur overnight without any warning signs. Symptoms include ear pain, swelling, pus formation and difficulty in hearing. Basic Precaution includes draining the water from the ear after shower or swimming.
Also commonly known as influenza, it’s one of the most common infections to everyone in winters. It’s a highly spreadable viral infection that affects the breathing tract. Symptoms include fever, body pain, headache, sleepiness, and cough. Helpful measures include getting annual flu vaccination and showing to a doctor if any of the above symptoms are detected.
Just follow these steps and you can prevent your Family from falling sick:
- Avoid contact with people that are already unwell
- Teach your child hand hygiene. Teach them to use tissue paper when they are coughing or sneezing. If tissue paper is not available, tell them cough or sneeze in the area where the elbow bends. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect palms and the back of the hand.
- All cold medications contain paracetamol in some forms, so do not use both cough medications and paracetamol separately. Take paracetamol only to reduce pain, headache, and fever.
- Do not self medicate. Go to your Family Doctor.
- Stay home, and take rest.
- Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in winter Time. Consult your physician for the same.
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