How to navigate through cold season

cold season

As it is winter here in Australia, it’s essential to be prepared for the inevitable onslaught of sniffles and sneezes that often accompany the colder months. While our winters may be milder compared to other parts of the world, they still impact our children and consequently, us as we set about navigating cold season.

What is cold season?

Did you know that the rates of colds triple in winter? It might seem surprising, but factors such as spending more time indoors, reduced exposure to sunlight leading to lower vitamin D levels, and increased use of indoor heating and air conditioning all contribute to this spike in colds. Unfortunately, children are especially vulnerable to these seasonal bugs. 

The truth is, that immature immune systems that haven’t yet been exposed to common viruses can make it feel like our children have a perpetual cold. It’s incredibly frustrating, and this pattern could persist for your child from now until summer. But does this mean there’s something wrong? 

As we all know, cold season can feel like a never-ending cycle of sniffles and sneezes, especially when it comes to our little ones. But before you start to worry, let’s take a deep breath and talk about what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to kids and colds. 

First off, it’s essential to remember that most children will experience between 8 – 10 colds per year, sometimes even more. While this might sound alarming, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an underlying immune problem. The key is to look at the bigger picture. Is your child thriving and growing well overall? If so, then focusing on getting through each cold with love and a little extra sleep will do wonders. 

When our little munchkins are under the weather, it can be tough for them (and us!). Sore throats, stuffy noses, and general discomfort can lead to lots of tears and whining. And let’s be honest, it can be challenging for us parents too, especially if we have our own anxieties about illness or doctor visits. 

But here’s the thing: acknowledging our feelings about sickness is crucial. Whether you hate doctor visits or find yourself getting more anxious with each sniffle, it’s essential to tap into how you’re feeling and find ways to support yourself so you can better care for your child. Especially if you too have been up numerous times a night for what seems like weeks on end! Sleep deprivation is very real and quite revolting. 

Breathing in children 

Understanding your child’s normal breathing patterns can help you recognize when something is wrong. This information will also be valuable if you need to visit the doctor. Observe the following: 

  • What does my child sound like when they breathe? 
  • Is there any noise when they inhale or exhale? 
  • What does their chest look like when they breathe?

Covid 19, Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) can all affect children’s breathing. These are currently on the rise in NSW. We don’t always need to know which virus our child has, but we do need to treat the symptoms and stay home. 

As we all know these viruses are highly contagious and are spread easily. Especially in indoor settings. Treating your child and following some of these tips will hopefully help you get through this virus. 

The flu vaccine is available for children over the age of 6 months. You can talk to your GP about whether this is right for your child. 

When should I be concerned?

Things to Worry About

  • Fever in babies under 3 months 
  • Fever lasting more than 3 days 
  • No drinking or wet nappies 

Things to be Less Concerned About

  • Not eating 
  • Lack of routine 
  • Wanting extra cuddles 
  • A fever is a temperature above 38 degrees. Even if a baby under 3 months has no other symptoms, you should see your doctor if they have a fever. In older children, if it lasts more than three days then have them reviewed. 

Helping your child to drink can be tricky if they are feeling miserable. Straws and small sips could help. Ice Blocks also count towards fluid intake. Small amounts frequently is the key. 

Your routines won’t be ruined in a few days. As your child starts to feel better, you can gradually ease back into your regular schedule. And remember, a lingering cough post-virus is normal. Communicate with your child about what’s happening and reassure them that they’ll be back to their energetic selves soon. 

Your child is a good guide, if they are asking for food and drink again, they are likely on the mend. Aim for nutritious food that is easy to eat. If they are only wanting to snack, then make those snacks count towards their overall intake. 

Cold Season helpful tips

  • Medication Management: Write down when you give medications like Panadol or Nurofen to avoid dosage mistakes. 
  • Hydration is Key: Offer fluids in fun ways to encourage hydration. 
  • Sleep, Sleep, Sleep: Rest is vital for recovery, so don’t hesitate to add in extra naps or an earlier bedtime sleep.

And most importantly, trust your gut. You know your child best, so if something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to seek help or return to the GP. Health Direct is the health advice line available across Australia the number is 1800 022 222. Registered Nurses can offer advice or direct you with information if you are unsure of the next steps. 

I hope you found these tips helpful! Wishing you and your little ones a speedy recovery and lots of cuddles.

Written By

Lousie Donnelley, Embrace Parenting

Similar Posts