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Every parent’s nightmare coming true in November, punctually as a Swiss watch: a season of coughing attacks and cold for their children. This prefect timing is thanks to the weakening of the body’s natural defenses, which comes together with the temperature drop of the arriving winter season. A weakening of the natural defenses leads to increased contact between mucous membrane and external agents, such as microorganisms or smog particles, resulting in increased risk of throat and nose inflammation. Inflammation of the mucous membrane may also come from a viral or bacterial infection; in this case the reopening of schools and nurseries is the main reason for illnesses.
Why is it more risky for children than for adults?
The body of a child is not yet fully developed and so it is more fragile than that of an adult. As a result, viruses and bacteria can attack easier, especially in environments where they can proliferate, such as nurseries and kindergarten. Not all illnesses are only about harm, the first flu is very important for kids, as it is essential for the development of their immune defenses by creating the so-called “immune memory”.
What should we avoid?
Taking immediately antibiotics is definitely not the best choice. Antibiotics are useful only for the treatment of the symptoms caused by some form of bacteria, but symptoms such as cold and coughing are not necessarily related to bacterial forms. In addition, excessive use of antibiotics may result in allergies or other undesirable effects that in a longer period of time, may weaken the immune system: the risk is that more microorganism strains can become more resistant therefore more complicated to defeat.
On the contrary, antibiotics are necessary in case of tonsillitis, but it is strongly recommended to consult a pediatrician before taking them. Another mistake to avoid is not leaving enough time for recovery: the first days after the illness are crucial for a complete recovery of kids. It is better to wait one day more before sending them back to school.
What can you do to prevent seasonal illnesses?
Protecting mucous membranes is by far the most effective solution if we want to reduce the discomfort caused by the symptoms of flu. There are specific formulations that are able to create a real defensive barrier on the respiratory tract. One of them is hyaluronic acid, which is crucial for the recovery of its natural function. The products containing hyaluronic acid are helping kids’ organism to restore the proper functioning of the nasal mucosa. They usually are taken locally and come in form of sprays. This is thanks to the ability to penetrate into the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, hydrating it and defeating symptoms, such as burning and itching. In addition, products based on hyaluronic acid are able to improve the ciliary beat and hence they are useful for improving the quality of breathing.
Kids never stop, they are always active and full of energy, eager to learn and want to know everything about the world around them. Although we often forget that the life of a child can be very tiring, both physically as well as mentally. In most cases it is not related to particular disorders or illnesses and so it should not be very warning, but it can make a child suffer and cause headache to parents and whoever is around them.
Of course, a child can hardly identify tiredness and so to admit that he need to stop for a moment and relax. This is why it is so important for a parent to recognize the signs of tiredness in their child.
First we have to identify the causes of the strange behavior in order to batten down the hatches and get the kid in shape by consulting a pediatrician who can find a fix, for example with specific supplements. The signs that can help you understand that a child is tired can be divided into two major categories, emotional and physical types:
Just like adults, also children are easily irritated when they are tired. This means that in front of the slightest difficulty (for example while playing) a child’s reactions may become apparently exaggerated, with distressed crying and sudden temper tantrums.
2. Tending to be clingy
In general, tiredness often occurs in children with a greater need for care and affection. A clear sign of tiredness can be if the desire to be picked up and cuddled is stronger than usual.
3. Excessive crying
Storm of screams and tears without obvious motivation are another unmistakable sign of lack of energy and mental or physical fatigue. Even in this case kids are not so different from adults, even they tend to be nervous when they are sleepy or particularly stressed.
4. Strange and exaggerated behavior
Just as the “big ones” when they are exhausted, also children tend to take particularly strange or eccentric attitudes when they are tired. While in case of adults this behavior is usually associated with the classical nervous breakdown, the attitudes of children are the other way around: lack of response to questions, violent reactions and gestures, anger and, in general, extreme actions.
Even those cuddles, that normally “cure” any discomfort, have no effect on the kid. If he continues to complain despite the repeated attempts to comfort him, it simply means that he is very tired.
1. Slow movements
Someone who know well a child, knows how energetic he is in his activities, so it will not be difficult to notice if something is not not working well when he is daydreaming with empty eyes while playing or eating, starts dragging his feet while walking or simply when he refuses to walk and pretends to be picked up.
2. Difficulty in speaking with words
For small children speaking is not an easy thing to do. For an adult it is a routine activity not involving special efforts, but for a child speaking is different. Fatigue can be observed also from this aspect, it may make verbal expression difficult, both, phrasing sentences that make sense as well as controlling the tone and volume of the voice. Having difficulties in the expression can result in further irritation, this way ending up in vicious circle.
3. Sleeping anywhere
Tired children tend to fall asleep (or at least try) at any time of the day. If a child throws an anger tantrum for going to bed in the evenings but falls asleep in the car on the way home from the nursery, it means that he is exhausted.
Paradoxical as it may seem, in many cases hyperactivity of a child is a symptom of lack of energy. The tendency to repeat a gesture over and over again should not be considered a sign of strength and energy, but, on the contrary, an alarm bell that indicates that it is time for a rest.
5. Food? No thanks!
If a child refuses his favorite dish and stays at the table just watching the plate, or worse, throwing it on the floor, he is probably too tired to eat. It is useless to insist or think about punishing him; you better try to put him in bed.