Winter is finally here! Where it comes along with the joy of warm sunshine, cozy sleep and hot cups of tea, it also brings the cold, cough and throat infections along with it. Such infections are quite complicated in children.
Throat infections can be annoying and painful. However, most throat infections go away on its own without antibiotics or any other medical treatment. The best way to prevent throat infection is to maintain hygiene and avoid contact with a person who is having a sore throat. You should seek medical care if your children show symptoms like fever (>101 F), watery eyes, red and swollen tonsils, body ache and red spots at the back of the roof of the mouth. You should also keep your children away from communal areas so that he or she cannot transfer their symptoms to anybody else.
Let’s have a look at some important tips to prevent your kids from getting throat infection:
1. Keep hands clean
Throat infections stay away from us if we keep our hands clean. Hand washing is indeed the best way to keep all the infections at bay. Infectious germs can pass on to our hands from places like hospitals, doctor clinics, play ways, and schools.
In order to keep your hands clean you should wash your hands thoroughly mainly:
a) When you touch your eyes, mouth, and nose
b) When you are near a person who is having any type of infection
c) When you use toilets and bathrooms
d) When you cough, sneeze or clean your nose.
e) When you eat food
You should clean your hands properly with clean water and soap. You should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds and work on hands from back, front, between your fingers and clean your nails properly. Make sure that you dry your hands every time you wash your hands with a towel, tissue paper or hand dryer.
2. Use hand sanitizers
Hand sanitizers are the best ways to clean your hands when you do not have access to water or soap. However, you should try to wash your hands with water first, if possible. Hand sanitizers contain 60% alcohol which is sufficient enough to kill germs up to a great extent.
Whenever traveling, you should keep a sanitizer handy. It can be your best companion in terms of cleaning hands without water. In children, use hand sanitizers after reading the package instructions properly.
P.S. Excess use of hand sanitizer may kill the good bacteria present in hands.
3. Take proper diet
When you start observing the symptoms of throat infection in your child, you should make necessary diet changes in your kid’s diet. You should give him plenty of fluids or liquids, soft and healthy food. Higher intake of liquid will keep your kid hydrated and will moisten his/her throat which makes it easier for them to swallow the food. You should make a diet plan that includes food such as warm soup, yogurt, and soft veggies because such foods are comforting and easy to swallow. You should avoid oily, spicy and citrus food as it can irritate the throat of your child.
4. Take your medications properly
You should seek medical treatment immediately when you start seeing the symptoms of throat infection because later it can worsen the situation. The pediatrician may advise you for a simple throat culture for your kid. He/She may prescribe you some antibiotics if your kid’s test is positive for bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. Usually, all antibiotics start showing its effect within 24 to 48 hours of administration and you will start seeing the improvement after antibiotic treatment.
It is very important to complete the course of antibiotic which may last for 2 weeks. You should continue the medications even if the symptoms disappear in order to finish the antibiotic course.
5. Seek home remedies
a) When your kid is suffering from throat infections, encourage him/her to take proper rest. Because the rest is the only treatment which can be helpful for regaining the lost strength during sickness. You should avoid sending your kid to school for one to two days in order to prevent the spread of infection to other children in school.
b) Make sure your child gargle with warm water with little salt in it for 2-3 times a day as it will soothe a sore throat and will provide comfort from irritability in the throat.
If your child is having recurrent episodes of a sore throat you should consider seeing an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor to determine whether they need their tonsils removed, especially if they are having multiple episodes of strep throat confirmed on a throat swab.
Keep sore throats at bay this winter!