With the end of mango season, begins monsoons. Monsoons are fun, but as a parent one’s first worries are the seasonal infections that come along with the rains.
- Mosquito borne diseases: Monsoons and the resulting water stagnation cause the spread of many mosquito borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever and Chikungunya. In some cases, these diseases can be fatal too. Here’s a post on how to get rid of mosquitoes naturally.
- Water borne diseases: Eating outside or drinking unpurified water can cause many diseases during monsoons. Panipuris and other such roadside food stalls are the worst as the water is sourced from very questionable sources.
- Air borne diseases: “Mausam badal raha hain.” With every season change comes the mandatory cough and cold and the monsoons are no different.
So, as parents, we need to be prepared. Catch the cold before it catches you! But how? Am glad you asked!
Boost your child’s immunity.
Build your child’s immunity by feeding him food that is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to reduce your child’s chances of falling ill by boosting up their antibodies to fight infections better. Feed him warm foods like eggs, chicken soup, and milk throughout the day. Chawanprash and multivitamins prescribed by your pediatrician should also be given every day.
Most good pediatricians also suggest that not giving medicine for mild coughs and colds allows the body to develop stronger immunity. Recently my son had a mild fever and cold, but my pediatrician said that if the child is active, you need not administer Paracetamol.
Keep room at optimum temperature
After the hot summer, the temperature suddenly begins to drop as it becomes cold & breezy. This sudden change in temperature is the culprit behind the cough and cold your son is having. Try to keep the house dry and warm all the time. Keep the windows and shutters closed to make the house cozy. I like to use yellow light lamps, instead of tube lights, as winter approaches as they make the house warmer.
Mommy is Masterchef
If you were saying no to outside food before, don’t stop now. Water borne infections like diarrhea and food poisoning are more easily spread during monsoons. Roadside food stalls and restaurants have a dubious supply of water, so best avoided this season. And when you want panipuri whip them up in your kitchen!
Avoid getting drenched.
Now, that my son is a toddler, I miss his infant days, when it was easier to control him. With the increasing pollution and chances of acid rains it is healthier to get your kiddo to avoid a rain dance. Easier said than done I know, which brings me to my next point!
Shower if you get wet in the rain
Children fall ill more often during rains, because the body experiences a sudden drop in temperature – which usually happens when they get soaked in the rain. My nephew loves to play football in the rain, and most times he will do it on the sly, without asking for permission. So when he arrives at the door step dripping wet I march him right to the bathroom. A nice hot shower helps the body by stabilizing the cold temperature, bringing it to normal by the time he dries himself off. Be sure to dry your kiddo’s hair completely else he could end up with a head cold.
Use Water-Resistant Rain Gear
Monsoons are highly unpredictable, so don’t be caught unawares. Reduce the chances of your children getting wet by ensuring that they always have their umbrella and raincoat, before stepping out. Get good waterproof shoes or rubber shoes, so that they don’t spend much time in wet socks – also a big reason why kids fall sick.
Also be on the lookout for foot sores, if your kids ever steps out in flip flops. Prolonged exposure of the feet to dirty rain water can also result in the skin peeling out.
Prepare your own ‘monsoon aid kit’. I am prepared, are you?
Despite all the precautions you take, your child may still fall sick and catch a cold or cough. Be prepared with a small monsoon kit which help with the cold and cough. Home remedies like ginger, tulsi and honey are great for treating mild cough and colds. Black pepper, ghee and kada are also time tested gharelu nuskhe that you can try.
Recently I have discovered that Lavender essential oil, mixed with olive oil is excellent for body massage, during cough and cold. It provides much needed relief, similar to Vicks in smell– but completely natural. It also helps clear congested chest and helps sleep better.
I for one have also used homemade apple cider vinegar to reduce fever because I am not comfortable giving Paracetamol, to such a young child.
If your child is in great discomfort then administer medicine only after consulting your pediatrician. How do you try to prevent cough and cold during monsoons? What are the “gharelu nuskhe” you fall back on to fight a cold? Share below!