Kids falling ill is the one of the biggest concerns for any mother. This happens more with kids till the age of 5 and with season changes. Cold and cough and fever not just makes the kid irritable, it also diminishes his appetite. Mothers are at wits end managing the kids and are also worried about their immunity and overall health.
Sharing a few tips to take care of the little ones and build their immunity. Of course, in some health conditions doctors are the best people to advice. Also, these worked for my children; each mother knows the best for her child and so its totally each parent’s discretion.
- Don’t make the baby wear a lot of layers. Don’t make him wear a woolen cap, mittens, socks, etc. all the time if the temperature is normal and not too cold. You will see kids often sweating or getting irritated when made to wear to many layers.
- Let the child crawl, walk, run, fall and grow up. No, I am not heartless! This helps in building up the kids’ immunity a lot. The more the kid is in a natural environment the better his immunity will be. So, every time he crawls or walks and falls don’t go and pick him up. Of course, the floors need to be kept clean and free of germs and sharp objects.
- Once the child starts having solids, introduce all the food groups at the earliest. Give the child pulses, cereals, fruits, vegetables, chicken, paneer, etc. first in a mashed form and later as is. I started giving my children everything we had, albeit not spicy, since the time they were 7-8 months old. Giving salt and sugar is totally up to the parents. This way the kids get all the nutrients, are eating all food groups, and become non-fussy eaters.
- Never start giving medicines without the doctor’s advice. Only a medicine for fever like Calpol can be given, that too age-specific dosage and not multiple times. Not all fevers or cold and cough warrant antibiotics. So, never introduce any antibiotic or other medicine without the doctor’s advice. Not all conditions are the same.
- Don’t panic if the child isn’t eating after recovering from fever or cold and cough. Don’t try to force feed him. Even as adults we lose appetite after an illness. Similarly, the kids also lose appetite which eventually comes back once the child recuperates. Forcing the child will result in vomiting and abhorrence towards food.
- Immunity of a child develops in the first 5 years, so don’t worry if he is falling ill once a month or once in 2 months. Of course, if the child is suffering from asthma or other issues the scenario is different. Trying out home remedies, Ayurvedic or homeopathic treatment is totally each parents’ choice but for infants home remedies should be avoided as they are too young to be put at any risk.
- Never stop the course of any medicine in between. Often mothers stop the medicines once they feel the child is better but that should never be done. The course of any treatment should always be completed. This is for the child’s well being.
- Don’t restrict the child from playing in the mud, getting wet in the rain, playing rough for the fear of falling and hurting. All these make the child strong. This is my personal experience. Don’t worry about getting tanned or the elbows and knees getting dark! This is applicable for both boys and girls.
The more we mollycoddle the children the lesser the strong they will be. Let them grow naturally and normally. Remember our own childhood?