Sunday, March 21, 2010

Preventing Cough and Cold it Toddlers and pre-school kids

Let me try to share my thoughts/ observations/ experience with you which I have faced with my son (who is now 3 1/2 years old) since last 1 1/ 2 years that he started going to Pre-school.

First thing - you may want to check the hygiene factors at the school.

How far they are following it in terms of checking the kids - and if any infections they have before entering to the school / class.

If there is not much cold/ cough/ running nose for the other kids, their parents might not be having any other option expect sending them to the school; in these cases, the school must allow them and to play separately. This rarely happens anywhere.

And, the other points like, how the teachers/ care takers are taking care of the (Sick) kids when they have cold or cough. They are suppose to either wear gloves when they touch them / or wash their hands immediately. So, the spread of the cold and cough would be less.

At the same time, even the kids can be given mask to wear as to prevent the spread of the cold among other kids. (here, if the kids are very small, it's going to be tough time for the kids /for the care takers too to keep the mask on always :-P)

In addition, you may want to check with the school as what kind of drinking water is given and about the food given to your kid. (If he is taking school food). Some foods/ or cold / chilled drinks might cause cold or cough to the kids if taken on regular basis.

Please don't forget to even check the washrooms and the cleanliness maintained there. It does matter a lot.

Is the school/ class is closed and with full Aircon. If so, is it split A/c or central A/c. How much is the room temperature is maintained. Please check.

Yes - I was told by my Paed that pre-school and child care going kids do get these kind of episodes (cold / cough/ running nose / fever / soar throat/phlegm) 12-15 times in a year. Most of the times, it would be because of some viral infection; which would go between 5-7 days.

Assuming that your kid's weight and height and other growth factors are normal as per the age, then try to re-visit his diet which you give him at home.

You can include the following.
Citrus fruits
Vitamin C Syrup
Seeds (Pumpkin etc., )

Avoid giving him chilled drinks / foods WHEN he is having any signs of cold/ soar throat or cough.

If you cannot wait for some more time, probably, you may want to check with your Pead if he suggest for any allergic tests to be done for your kid. I am not sure, it would be done for such a small kid.

Probably, you can keep a note of the food given at home and collect the menu from the school. And check, when these symptoms are persisting .. I mean after which food, he is getting these attacks.

Some Alternative medicines can be used.
Cardlivor capsules
Septlin Tonic (Himalaya Product)
It would be good to check with your Pead before using these medicines.

You may want to reduce the rice content and include whole grains in his food. Like Cereal/ lentils / vegetables/ whole fruits/ whole grain bread / dry fruits / Dhalia (Broken wheat)/ Oats / Raagi etc.,

I was told by my Ayurved Doctor to give less quantity of rice to my son as it may be one of root cause for persistent cough and cold and soar throat.

Nothing should be given in excess. Plan his diet ahead and can follow the same in the week ahead.

It would be trail and error always with the kids. We would really not knowing unless it is given to the kid and proved safe and they like it :-P

I am sure you must have already trained your kid about Hand wash. This is another important factor to prevent these kind of episodes.

As suggested by our co-mums, please cover him properly while he is going to school and while at home when he is having cough and cold and really the weather is cold out side.

Massage him with eucalyptus oil.

Steam would be good to loosen the phlegm if he has any - (it would be good to apply Ghee/ Vaseline on his nostrils before giving the steam) but, please take care about the hot vapor. Please keep it far and face it before the kid)

You can use, Tulasi (holi basil) ginger, honey mix (little) to the kid 2-3 time as per the severity.

All these are to reduce the symptoms of the cold/cough etc.,

Pinch of turmeric with little ghee and sugar in the warm milk before the bed is good for cough and cold. If the cough is wet cough, make sure to dilute the milk.

Hope it would be of some help to you..

Yes - it is a passing phase. It is just 2 months that he started going to the school. He needs ( in the sense any kid) time to get adjust with the school and environment.

Over period of time, after several episodes, he would build self immunity to withstand
these symptoms.

Courtesy: Ratna @ Indian Parenting.

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