Winter is very much upon us and it can be most dangerous for the vulnerable in society such as babies and the elderly.
Babies are at a higher risk of developing certain diseases as their immune system is not fully developed. If you have a little one and you are concerned about them getting poorly, then it is good to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent them falling ill.
As with any illness, it is important to maintain good standards of hygiene and to try and prevent your baby from being exposed to any unwanted nastiness!
Check out this list of handy tips to keep your baby healthy this winter season.
7 ways to keep your baby healthy & protected during winter:
1. Use hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes
When you are out and about it isn't always easy to wash your hands. Hand sanitizer is your saviour! Use it whenever you’re in a public place as germs can live on surfaces for hours.Try a moisturising hand sanitizer to prevent drying your hands out. Anti-bacterial wipes are also effective at keeping germs at bay. Use them to wipe down surfaces and toys to keep everything clean
2. Check vaccinations are up to date
Each time your baby gets sick, they’re developing new antibodies that will help protect them in the future. In the meantime, there are some important things you can do to help protect your baby including making sure your baby is vaccinated.
Vaccination is a proven way to protect your baby from all kinds of illnesses. For more information, visit NHS CHOICES to find out which vaccinations are part of the national immunisation programme – these, of course, are all free! Do speak to your healthcare professional if you have any questions concerning vaccinations.
3. Make sure you or any visitors wash your hands
For when you are at home, to prevent the spread of germs and bugs, make sure you keep washing your hands. If you have any visitors, politely ask them to wash their hands before touching your precious little one. They shouldn't be insulted as everyone has germs on their hands and you can always do it too to show you aren't being personal. Anything that minimises the number of germs babies are exposed to is important until their immune system is fully developed.
4. Keep your baby wrapped up and covered
Wrapping your child up will not only make sure they are warm and toasty and less vulnerable to winter illnesses but any barriers that prevent your child from coming into contact with bugs and viruses is a good thing. Keeping them covered if you do have to venture out will mean they are less likely to be infected by viruses.
5. Breastfeed, if possible
For some women, breastfeeding is not an option. However, if you can breastfeed, it can make a real difference to your baby's immune system. Babies which are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to get colds and other infections than babies who are formula fed. Breastmilk is full of specially designed antibodies which will give your baby a strong defence against any nastiness.
If you can't breastfeed, don't worry - follow these other tips and you will be doing everything you can to keep your little tot healthy.
6. Don't let sick friends or family visit
This may seem obvious and it might upset your relatives, but it is important to not let any guests round who are unwell. Ideally keep friends or family away until they stop displaying any symptoms because that way you won't expose your baby to colds and fevers. If you end up with a visitor or in a public place where someone is unwell, don't let them touch the baby, encourage them to wash their hands if possible and make sure they are covering their nose or mouth.
7. Know when to call the doctor
You might have tried really hard to prevent it, but sometimes vulnerable babies get sick no matter how hard you try. If it's too late and your baby is clearly exhibiting signs of being unwell, you might need to call your doctor. You know your baby best so keep an eye out for the severity of symptoms. If their temperature is too high or the illness has gone on for a prolonged period, that is the time to get in contact with your GP.
Date of prep: December 2018. Job code: PP-VAC-GBR-1053. Content written by Mother & Baby and checked by Pfizer