Children need Special Care in Cold Weather – Pediatrician

As the rainy season, which is often characterized by cold sets in, a pediatrician, Dr. Adetope Gideon advises parents to properly cover their babies and children.

Gideon, who works at the Rain Hospital, Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that children were more vulnerable to cold than grownups.

“There is need to remind parents and other caregivers that children are at more risk of cold than adults because their bodies are smaller and they lose heat quicker.

“Parents should ensure their children wear cold weather accessories including cardigans, warm boots, gloves or mittens and a wool cap, which can keep them comfortable in cold weather.

“Dress babies and young children in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.

“Keep exposure to cold at a minimum because babies and young children don’t have the same tolerance for cold that adults do; also, limit their time of playing outside.

“Ensure that they eat warm foods and rub their bodies with mentholated oil always,’’ she said.

Gideon explained that though cold weather causes colds, however, common colds are mainly caused by viruses that humans were commonly exposed to.

“Viruses are spread even more easily when children are in school and in close contact with each other, typically through respiratory droplets in the air and on the hands.

“A child who has a cold can pass it to another by touching hands, sneezing near each other faces or through contact with their bodies.

“Of course, once a baby is already sneezing and wheezing or has a runny nose or coughs, it is best to keep him indoors since breathing in cold and dry air can aggravate their symptoms.

“When you go out, check your child’s hands and feet often to make sure they are not too cold,’’ she said.

She advised on good hygiene and proper nutrition as they are best defenses against common cold.

“Give your child plenty of nutritious foods as it will help his body build up immunity to common infections, making it stronger always,’’ she said.

Gideon also advised parents to visit hospitals if their wards or children were not responding to home treatment after contacting cold.

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