As the temperature starts dropping, it is easy to develop a cold due to exposure. Warmer temperatures during the day cause us to walk around wearing inadequate clothing, and when the temperature drops at night, we feel a little chilly, but don't see the need for covering ourselves up - yet. A few days later, when we develop a catch in our throat and pain in our ears, out come the full sleeve shirts and woollens, and into the loft go our sleeveless, skimpy clothes.
This winter, don't wait for your child to fall sick before covering him up. Be smart and work at preventing the common cold, rather than attempting to cure it.
Stepping out with wet hair is a complete no-no. No matter how rushed your child is, when cold winds are blowing the worst thing she can do is step out with wet hair. If she has to leave the house after a hair wash, make sure she blowdries it first. The dryer should be on a warm setting, and not on a hot setting, because a blast of hot air followed by a blast of cold air can also cause your child to develop a chill.
She should never tie up wet or damp hair. This causes hair to dry slowly, with the result that the scalp stays damp longer, and this can very easily lead to your child developing a cold. Your child should only tie her hair when it has completely dried.
Discourage her from washing her hair in the evenings, and if she must wash her hair in the evening, she should stay home and not go out at all. The temperature falls a lot more in the evenings, especially around the time of season-change, only increasing the likelihood of her developing a cold.
If your child is prone to developing a cold, encourage her to wear a hat if you live in a place which gets cold in the winter. Her head should always be kept covered. If your child wears a thick woollen sweater and walks out with her head uncovered, she is more likely to develop a cold than if she wears something full-sleeve with perhaps a woollen vest, and keeps her head covered. Many mothers make the mistake of making their children wear excessively warm clothing if they are prone to developing a cold, while keeping their heads uncovered. With the result that the child will feel warm, but still may not be able to escape getting a cold.
Often wearing layers is more effective than wearing something heavy. It may make sense for your child to wear a cotton t-shirt under a light sweater and a jacket, than a heavy sweater with no jacket. Layers will keep your child's chest better protected. In addition, if your child feels warm he can remove the jacket. The light sweater and t-shirt will provide adequate protection. But if your child has worn a very heavy sweater and removes it when he feels warm, he may feel cold without it on. How many times have we wondered if we should remove a sweater because we are feeling warm, and then feel cold after removing it? Remember, when in doubt, put on the sweater. It is always better to feel too warm than too cold.
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- The Indiaparenting Team