How to Keep Your Children Healthy During Winters

Winters are characterized by a dip in temperature and children are highly prone to viral infections like common colds and flu. 

General Winter Tips for Children

  1. Clothing: Make sure your kid is dressed in warm clothes and accessories such as boots, gloves, winter muffler, and hat while going out. 

  2. Hygiene:  Kids should follow cough and sneeze hygiene practice to prevent germs from spreading. They can either cover their mouth and nose or do so in their folded elbow.  Frequent washing of hands with soap and water will help prevent infections. Avoid sharing items that touch the mouth or face such as straws and cups. 

  3. Vaccination: It is important to stay up to date with your kid’s vaccination schedule. Getting the flu shot can reduce the risk of flu infection significantly. 

  4. Eating a well-balanced diet. Give them a well-balanced diet incorporating lots of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Ensure adequate sleep and rest. Make sure they are well hydrated. 

  5. Lifestyle: Encourage your kids to stay active during the day and a good night’s sleep at night. Physical activity and decreasing stress will make their immune system strong. Children need about 8-12  hours of sleep depending on age. Insufficient sleep can decrease the immune system and thus, leading to sickness. It is important to keep the skin well moisturised to prevent dryness. Apply a good sunscreen while going out to prevent sunburns. 

  6. Medical Check-up: If your child has pre-diagnosed conditions such as eczema, asthma, allergies, etc, then do give them the prescribed preventive medication and inhalers and seek advice in case of worsening symptoms as these conditions generally worsen in winters. In case of cold, cough and fever, do not self-medicate the child. It is important to take the child to a nearby hospital and seek medical advice. Consult a doctor and ask for the full body checkup in Delhi.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What food is good to eat to have a healthy immune system?

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, green tea, and food rich in fibre considered as good food for a healthy immune system. 

2. How much sleep is needed

Children need more hours of sleep. They usually need 8 to 12 hours of sleep depending on their age.

3. Who can get the flu shot?

Anyone 6 months of age and older can get the flu shot and it is recommended to get the flu shot yearly thereafter. If your child has a weakened immune system due to some disease or drugs or a chronic disease such as diabetes, asthma, or cancer, it is more important to consider getting the flu shot. 

4. If my child exercises, will it increase his/her immune system?

Yes, moderate exercise will boost their immune system. 

5. What are other ways to have a healthy immune system?

Other activities your child can try are meditation, yoga, listening to music, and nature hikes. A happy environment at home with quality family time is very important. These are ways to reduce stress and boost the immune system. 


Dr. Neeta Kejriwal

Consultant - Pediatrics

Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, Delhi

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