How to protect your children when temperatures drop
As fine sunny days are alternated by sudden showers we get ready to face the cold winter months ahead. We must be very careful with babies and children when there are frequent temperature fluctuations, to prevent colds and flu. And it up to parents to “shield” them from these dangers. But what should we do to protect our little ones from common winter bugs and illnesses? Let's find out together!
Let's try to understand a child's perception of temperature
Children, just like adults, may be more or less sensitive to heat and cold. It is not always simple however to understand our child's actual perception of temperature. For example, there is no point in touching their hands or feet to see if they are hot or cold, because their hands and feet are always a little cold due to the phenomenon of vasoconstriction. All you need to do is place a hand on your child's neck to check his or her body temperature. Your should also take your child's body type into account. Thinner children are generally more sensitive to cold because they do not have very much subcutaneous fat and are thus more subject to temperature fluctuations.
The “layer” method is always a good option
Once you understand your child's perception of temperature, you should try not to exaggerate by dressing your child with clothes that are too warm, and that could make your child sweat, worsening the situation. The best thing to do is dress your child with several layers of clothing that you can take off for example when going from a cold to a warm environment.
Just as important is a hat, because your child's head is not covered by a great deal of hair and is therefore major source of heat loss.
Should you allow your child to play outdoors during winter?
Take advantage of bright sunny days to take your child outdoors for a walk. According to the latest studies sun rays are the main source of vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D is important not only in terms of growth, bone and joint health and development, but also in terms of immunocompetence.
So allow your children to play sport in winter, even outdoors, provided they are warmly dressed and you dry their hair well after taking a shower.
What about when they are at home?
Be careful not to overheat your home. A temperature of about 20°C is ideal but do not forget to ventilate rooms to prevent indoor pollution caused by the central heating or other heat sources.
Finally, what you eat is obviously important for your health so that in winter you should choose foods that are rich in vitamin C such as fruit and orange coloured vegetables, as well as yoghurt that is rich in live cultures, that are a natural supplement to well-being.