As school starts and fall begins again, many parents begin to worry about their kids getting sick. After all, cooler temperatures and being around crowds all day encourage the spread of germs. How can you keep your little ones from catching one of the common fall illnesses that circulate this time of year?
Be Ready for the Fall
It’s an unfortunate truth that the pleasant autumn weather can bring with it very unpleasant sicknesses. Fortunately, you can prevent or easily treat several of these sicknesses with plenty of care. Here are the ones to look out for the most:
- Raynaud Syndrome
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Seasonal allergies
1) Raynaud Syndrome
Raynaud Syndrome consists of poor circulation and numbness caused by the drop in temperature. While this can manifest on its own, it often appears as an exacerbation of existing symptoms. Anyone with heart problems or poor circulation will only notice things worsening as the temperature decreases. Encourage your kids to stay active and bundle up well to keep their blood circulating and prevent their body temperature from decreasing significantly.
The flu is the most common winter virus and the reason why autumn is often simply called “flu season”. For most people, the flu lasts several days and prevents you from going to work or school while you’re contagious. However, this illness should be taken seriously–nearly 200 children died from the flu in 2018. Make sure to get yourself and your children the latest flu shots every 6 months to reduce the risk of either catching or spreading the flu virus.
Pro Tip: A baby is vulnerable to the flu, but may be too young for the vaccination. If you’re caring for an infant, make sure everyone around the baby maintains excellent hygiene and stays up to date on all their shots.
3) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Also known as seasonal depression, SAD is a feeling of boredom and sadness brought on by shorter, gloomy days and cold weather. These feelings of unhappiness can contribute to lower physical health and self-care. While its causes aren’t fully understood, the significant reduction in natural sunlight is believed to play a part. SAD should be treated like any mental illness–approach the topic with sensitivity and offer support as your child works through their feelings and finds ways to cope.
Because SAD is at least partially affected by a lack of natural light, one popular treatment is light therapy. The patient sits near a box that emits a near-perfect imitation of outdoor ambient light, tricking the body into believing the day lasts longer. This is not a perfect treatment but has been shown to help.
4) Seasonal Allergies
Houston autumns are notorious for their high humidity and high pollen count, both of which can make allergies that much worse. People with asthma will also notice their symptoms worsening. Keep allergy medicine handy if you notice your kids exhibiting especially bad symptoms of allergies, and make sure they wash their hands frequently.
Stay Healthy During the Winter Months
As people crowd inside to escape the dropping temperatures, common fall illnesses can easily spread from person to person and make plenty of people sick. While you can’t completely eliminate the risk, you can certainly help prevent the spread by keeping yourself and your little ones healthy. Keep an eye on your own health as well as your kids’, and visit the doctor if you have any doubts. Don’t take the risk.
Connect with us for more information on staying safe and healthy this fall!