How to Prevent and Treat Winter Infections

How to Prevent and Treat Winter Infections

Meet the expert:

Dr. Vibhav R. Sanzgiri,

global research and development director, Unilever, Lifebuoy.

Questions

As a mother, I know that my child is more prone to getting a cold or the flu during winter. Should I keep him inside to prevent him from getting sick?

Dr. Vibhav Sanzgiri:

‘The cold, dry air in the winter helps germs stay airborne longer and causes the inside of your nose to dry out. This lessens the effectiveness of the protective mucosal barrier to the entry of germs. Keeping your child indoors will increase his chances of interacting with contaminated surfaces. To facilitate common cold prevention, make sure your child washes his hands to get rid of germs. Keep him warm when outside. Get him to take a bath after taking off extra layers to remove sweat and avoid skin infections.’

Questions

What are the signs for spotting my child may be getting sick? Is there anything I can do to prevent infections developing in the first place?

Dr. Vibhav Sanzgiri:

 ‘A dry nose is one of the earliest signs your natural defenses are struggling. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, stays active, drinks plenty of fluids and washes hands with soap. Another sign of infection is itchy skin and dry eyes. Lifebuoy Total 10 body wash provides germ defence for active kids.”

Questions

Which illnesses should I be most aware of my child catching during the winter? And what can I do to protect her? 

Dr. Vibhav Sanzgiri:

‘Coughs and sore throats are very common. Infantile diarrhea tends to be higher in the winter too. Teach your children to cover their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing, not to share drinks or food and improve hand hygiene by washing hands with soap. If they’re out and about, use Lifebuoy Total 10 Hand Sanitizer.’

Questions

What are common cold symptoms and how can I treat them?

Dr. Vibhav Sanzgiri:

‘Common cold symptoms vary with each child and every infection, but they may include a sore throat, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough, a hoarse voice and feeling generally unwell. For common cold treatment, children should be encouraged to stay hydrated, eat healthily and get plenty of rest.

It’s also important that they wash their hands with soap to prevent the bacteria spreading from person to person. This should help them to get better within a few days.’

Questions

Which habits can I teach my children all year round to help protect them from winter infections?

Dr. Vibhav Sanzgiri:

‘Children are fast learners, and they are in a perfect position to develop healthy habits for later in life. Encourage your child to be as active as possible and to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Ensuring they get plenty of rest can also help them to fight infections.

However, the most important habit to teach them is good handwashing techniques. Children and adults alike should wash their hands thoroughly several times per day, particularly after using the toilet and before eating. Reinforcing these practices throughout the year should reduce your child’s risk of infection and contribute to flu prevention in the winter months.’

References

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