The Pae­di­a­tri­cian

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - HEALTH -

‘If you want to stop your chil­dren from catch­ing coughs and colds, the very best thing you can do is in­cul­cate per­sonal-hy­giene habits,’ says Deep. ‘Take time teach­ing them to wash their hands be­fore eat­ing and after go­ing to the loo, to cover their mouths when sneez­ing and carry a tis­sue.’

Healthy vi­ta­min D lev­els have been linked to raised im­mu­nity, but: ‘I wouldn’t worry about mul­tivi­ta­mins,’ says Deep. ‘If you make sure your fam­ily are eat­ing lots of fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, there shouldn’t be any need for sup­ple­ments.’

He does, how­ever, ad­vise par­ents to wash their chil­dren’s toys reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially after play­dates, and to keep them hy­drated. When a cold does strike: ‘Hy­dra­tion is key then too, but we of­ten un­der­es­ti­mate the pain chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence,’ he says. ‘So give parac­eta­mol – it’s sooth­ing for the throat. Sa­line nasal drops are fan­tas­tic for blocked noses, and con­sider a cold-mist hu­mid­i­fier in their room.’

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