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Winter and Children’s Health

Winter and Children’s Health

Winter can be exciting for young children, especially when it snows, but it also brings new dangers and an increased risk of accidents. The met office has issued a severe weather warning alert level 3 due to the extreme and prolonged cold weather. In England, severe cold weather and icy conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks. This weather could affect children’s health. Here are some tips to help you survive the winter and care for your children.

It is staying cold with daytime temperatures remaining only a few degrees above freezing in many places over the coming days and overnight temperatures dropping to -10°C or lower in isolated spots. Although below average, these temperatures are not that unusual for this time of year.
– Steve Willington, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office

Stack on the layers! Dress your children in layers and don’t forget to include a hat and socks.

Cold weather can cause hypothermia and frostbite in some cases, which can be fatal. When going outside in cold weather, dress your child/ foster child in several layers and make sure their head, neck, and hands are always covered. Always remember to dress the baby or children in one more layer than the adult. It’s always a good idea to bring extra outerwear in case your clothes get wet. If you are not carrying extra clothing, change it as soon as you get home.

 

 

Use a body carrier to keep your baby close and warm.

Body carriers can also be used by parents to keep their babies warm. Co-sleeping should not be used to provide body heat because it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and accidental suffocation. Sleeping bags are useful for insulating heat in older children.

Encourage Healthy Nutrition and Exercise

Make sure your child consumes nutritious foods. Include in their diet all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for the body’s defence mechanisms. You can also drink hot drinks, such as teas and hot chocolates!  Consuming nutrient-rich dry fruits and honey will also help boost immunity. Regular exercise is a practical and proven way to strengthen the child’s immune system and protect it from colds and other illnesses. Encourage them to exercise on a regular basis, which will help them feel more energetic on cold winter days. Ask and encourage them to do what he enjoys, such as running, jogging, cycling, or jumping rope.

Get the flu vaccine

Some viruses thrive in winter and cold weather can weaken children’s immune system. Babies and children under five years old are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. Most children are eligible for an annual flu vaccine. Speak to your GP practice nurse or your health care adviser about this. Children with long-term health conditions, such as diabetes or heart problems, are at higher risk from flu.

Stay updated on Strep A infection

You may have seen the news recently about the Group A strep bacteria. This is a common bacteria found in the throat that can cause a range of illnesses, including tonsillitis, scarlet fever and some skin infections. In most cases the common infections caused by Strep A (Group A streptococcus) are mild. They include a sore throat, often referred to as strep throat, mild fever, and minor skin infections. In very rare cases, this infection can be more serious and cause invasive disease. Whilst the risk is low, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms which are Very high fever, Severe muscle aches, Localised muscle pain and Unexplained diarrhoea or vomiting. If someone becomes ill with these symptoms, you should call NHS 111.

At sunbeam fostering, we are always available for our carers and provide them with all the support and trainings they might need throughout their fostering journey. If you are thinking of becoming foster carer, please give us a call on 020 8799 0930 or visit our website