A-Z of winter baby health and wellbeing
Coughs, colds and tummy bugs are more common for your baby or toddler during winter. Read on and keep your little one fighting fit with our guide to winter health…
A is for Allergies
The change in season can cause allergies to flare up for your toddler or baby. Spending more time indoors can raise sensitivity to common allergy triggers, such as dust mites, animal dander or indoor moulds.
Typical allergy symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy eyes. As allergy symptoms in children generally flare up before the age of 4 or 5, now is the time to keep an eye on your toddler.
Here’s everything you need to know about baby allergies
B is for bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis is a chest infection most common in babies under two. The smaller airways in the lungs become inflamed, resulting in rapid breathing and a cough.
It’s caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t help, but it usually clears up on its own. ‘If your child’s cough suddenly gets worse, or his breathing is laboured, seek medical help immediately,’ advises GP Dr Rob Hicks.
Bronchiolitis – symptoms, causes and treatments
C is for croup
The virus that causes croup, characterised by a barking ‘seal-like’ cough, is more prevalent in winter.
To ease symptoms, make your child comfortable by propping her up on pillows, or sit her in a steamy bathroom to help moisten her airways and ease her cough (or stand in her bedroom with a boiling kettle for a portable steam effect).
The croup cough can sound loud and frightening, so reassure your child, and keep calm yourself. Although it sounds alarming, it should clear up within 24 to 48 hours.
Is your child’s cough croup? How to spot it
D is for vitamin D
Known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, vitamin D is needed to help your baby absorb calcium.
In winter, the sun is less strong in northern Europe, so we may not get our daily dose, especially as we’re outdoors less.
However, if you want to supplement your child’s diet, seek your GP’s advice, as you will need to include a balance of vitamins.
Does your child need vitamin supplements?