Come monsoon and kids want to play in the rain, jump in the muddy puddles, float paper boats and splash water around. However, rains usually bring with them a host of ailments that kids, who are yet developing immunity, can attract. While you can’t stop them enjoying the wet season, you can definitely take extra care to protect your kids from developing any infectious diseases.
Though there is no dearth of over the counter medicines and antibiotics available at the medical shops, it’s better to take precautions and fortify your child’s immune system with these home remedies.
Cold and cough: Most kids catch cold during the rainy season. The dramatic shift in the climate, especially after the first showers, causes common cold.
• If your child has got drenched in the rains, make him drink a warm cup of turmeric milk. It prevents the body from catching cold.
• Ask your kid to eat a spoonful of honey to which a pinch of turmeric is added. Turmeric has antiseptic properties and can fight the infection in the throat well. Alternatively, you can also give warm water to which a pinch of turmeric, salt and a dash of ghee are added.
• In a muslin cloth, add a fistful of ajwain (carom seeds) and warm it on a pan. Put this warm cloth (check the temperature first) on the child’s chest to relieve congestion.
Stomach ailments: Firstly, do not allow your child to drink water from unreliable sources or uncooked food from outside as food poisoning, diarrhoea, and typhoid are water borne diseases.
• Serve freshly prepared home cooked food only.
• Give boiled water, especially water boiled with Tulsi leaves. Tulsi boosts immunity.
• Give curds if there is a stomach upset, or curd rice.
• To help cure abdominal pain or indigestion, administer ajwain with a pinch of salt. Or warm up a little milk with ajwain, and add jaggery to it.
• To enhance appetite, add tiny slivers of ginger in meals.
Mosquito bites: Mosquito bites can cause malaria and dengue. Prevent that by not allowing stagnant water near your house/residential colony.
• Use mosquito nets. Fumigate your home with citronella oil, camphor, clove or neem leaves; they are effective mosquito repellents.
• If your child is bitten, apply aloe vera juice (from a plant) on the affected area. The gel from the plant helps relieve the itchiness.
Skin infections: The dampness of the weather also tends to foster growth of skin infections. The delicate skin of kids is very vulnerable to skin problems. Babies are more likely to develop fungal infections like ringworm infection, nail infection and athlete’s foot, prickly heat, eczema and scabies.
• Keep your child’s skin clean and dry. Make him wear breathable fabrics that do not irritate the skin.
• Keep feet dry as much as possible. Ensure they wear open-toed sandals so that the toes dry out soon.
• On itchy skin or infected areas, apply a paste made of fresh neem leaves for quicker recovery.
• You can even apply a paste of sandalwood with rose water, multani mitti (fuller’s earth) or gram flour with curd and a pinch of turmeric.
Let the rain not dampen your child’s spirits. A little care should see your child enjoying the rainy season disease-free!
Also read more about: What to feed when your child is down with cold, cough, fever or diarrhea?, 15 natural remedies to treat your little one's cold and cough, Excerpts from LiveChat with Dr Bhavi Mody: Immunity of children against cold and cough
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