Rainy season is here again, even as everything is cool and green, this season also comes with some health concerns. Colds, pneumonia, cholera, fever, food and water infections are more prevalent during the rains. Omolara Akintoye writes how families can stay healthy this season
PERHAPS you’ve been noticing those around you blowing their noses or coughing, or you are the one affected, bear in mind that it’s rainy season. Rather than waiting to develop sickness, it is advisable to put up a stronger guard against it.
The best way to prevent common cold is to have a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet regularly which will develop the immune system of the body and improve body resistance. Apart from having a healthy food, you need to be a little extra cautious when you go out during the period of weather change and avoid exposing yourself too much to the outside environment. Avoid too much consumption of chilled items like ice-creams and iced drinks during the weather transition period. Avoid moving out in the rain and drenching in the rain water. Instead, carry an umbrella or a rain coat to protect yourself from getting drenched. In case you happen to get drenched in the rain, immediately after getting back to your home change your dress immediately and then let loose your hair and allow it dry as quickly as possible. If necessary, warm up yourself by putting up a room heater and keep yourself warm for some time
There might be some debate on it, but practice proves that vitamin C helps prevent and cure colds. You should be taking supplements year-round, but be particularly strict about this time. Vitamin C helps reduce the severity of a cold’s symptoms, thereby making them tolerable. With a good helping of vitamin C, your antibodies will fight the cold faster—or keep them at bay. What you can do is prepare for them. Always have your umbrella with you, but it would be best to have a rain coat and waterproof shoes as well. The goal is to stay dry as much as you can.
According to some medical researchers, vegetables that contain phytochemicals work better than vitamin C. They are more efficient in pacifying the symptoms of colds and flu. Eating a good dose of vegetables also lessens your recovery time from those illnesses. Vegetables are also rich in vitamin A; that makes your eyes healthier. What more can you ask for from these nutritious plants?
Say no to street food: We know that the freshly cooked and exposed fish balls, akara, puff-puff are particularly tempting during the rainy season, but it’s time for a temporary farewell. Avoid anything that is cooked in the open air that likely comes into contact with airborne and waterborne diseases. And no, those large umbrellas do not always keep them out.
For children in the rainy season, there is an increase in the number of respiratory problems such as pneumonia in children, sinusitis, otitis media, and bronchiolitis, which have greater complications in children.
To prevent your baby from catching a cold, take care of their diet, monitor their health and keep them bundled up, especially when changing environments with different temperatures. Teach them to clean their nose with clean tissues, preferably disposable. Hands should be washed with soap – if it’s antiseptic, even better – for 20 seconds in warm water to eliminate viruses.
Avoid shared items; It’s preferable not to share glasses or foods that are served from the same place (potatoes, popcorn, etc). Take care of your baby’s diet, since the cold weather requires more calories than in the summer. A good diet will strengthen their defences and help protect them from the cold and other diseases. Breastfeeding will also boost their immune system and protect them from many infections. To prevent the baby from catching a cold, when going out for a walk they should be well bundled, but without overdoing it. Keeping the baby too warm can be counterproductive since the excess fabric prevents the regulation of their body temperature with the environment.
In conclusion, if you are a little extra cautious during the time of transition of weather, you can protect yourself and your family from getting infected from virus/common cold and thus enjoy a healthy life.