“Rain, rain, go away” may be a nursery rhyme, but it might as well be a parent’s mantra. With the rainy season come coughs and clogged noses, which are especially tough on little ones. Pools of rainwater also become breeding grounds for pesky mosquitoes, which not only give itchy bites but also spread some illnesses.
It’s easier for grownups to deal with the rainy season discomfort, but babies still don’t know what to expect and can’t clear clogged noses on their own. A cough, cold, and mosquito bites are enough to leave babies crying and parents sleepless, so it’s important to know how to keep sickness at bay this season and how to comfort your baby.
Rainy Day Blues
The main reason people get sick during the rainy season is because temperatures drop, which studies have shown to slow down your immune system and to provide an environment for viruses to thrive. A study at the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University in England also found that people whose feet were immersed in cold water were more likely to get a cold than those who didn’t get their feet wet, possibly because it lowered immune response. So walking through rain-soaked streets or worse, flood water, can bring an attack of the sniffles.
Added to these is the fact that people tend to stay cooped up indoors when it’s raining outside, making it easier to transmit germs from person to person. The germs floating around in your office can easily find themselves in your home if you’re not careful.
Prevention and Relief
Below are a few tips to keep rainy season viruses out of your home or to relieve symptoms when germs manage to sneak in:
1 Wash your hands thoroughly. When a sick person at your office coughs into his hand, he can easily spread germs by touching other things that people come into contact with, such as doorknobs. You can then spread the same germs when you get home. Be mindful about touching common surfaces (elevator buttons, faucets, keyboards) and properly wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day.
2 Keep mosquitoes at bay. Clear canals and yards of stagnant pools of water where mosquitoes can lay eggs; indoors, make sure to change water in flower vases regularly. Fix screens to make sure mosquitoes are kept out of the house. There are natural mosquito repellents like citronella and essential oils that you can use to scent your home as well as natural remedies to relieve itching from mosquito bites on babies. Make sure to consult with your pediatrician before applying anything on baby’s skin.
3 Use saline drops with an aspirator. Poor babies still can’t blow their noses so you can imagine how uncomfortable it is having all that mucus up their noses. To provide some baby cold relief: Tilt your baby’s head back, administer two to three drops of saline solution into each nostril, wait about half a minute, then use an aspirator or bulb syringe. When using a bulb syringe, insert the tip into baby’s nostril, close off the other nostril, then slowly release the bulb to suck up the mucus. Wipe and repeat on the other nostril.
4 Give a soothing baby vapor bath. Think of it as aromatherapy for babies: Mix store-bought, age-appropriate vapor mixes with warm water, or make your own with a combination of calming essential oils to help soothe baby.
5 Apply chest rub. Ask your pediatrician to recommend baby-safe chest rubs that can decongest the chest, throat, and nasal airways, providing relief for baby. Massage the rub into your baby’s chest, throat, and back. Make sure you don’t apply it anywhere on the face.
6 Increase baby’s liquid intake. For babies younger than six months, drinking more breast milk or formula can help them prevent dehydration and flush out mucus. Those older than six months can drink more water or even 100% natural fruit juice.
7 Serve baby something hot. There’s a reason chicken soup is a traditional comfort food in the West: It helps relieve aches, fatigue, and congestion. You can serve hot soup to babies six months and older.
By knowing how to comfort baby when he or she is sick, you can also increase the chances that your baby will get enough sleep—another remedy for rainy season illnesses. And don’t forget to soothe your baby with plenty of cuddles!
Product You Might Be Interested In
Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent
Babyganics natural insect repellent is DEET free. This blend of plant and essential oils (Citronella, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemongrass & Geranium) is pungent to mosquitoes, smells great and is good for whole family.
Babyganics Cold Relief Chest Rub
What could feel better than a soothing chest rub? This natural blend of eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender soothes and comforts the crank. The glide on stick is designed for hands-free application to ensure cranky-free parents too.
Babyganics Vapor Bubble Bath
This blend of tomato, sunflower, cranberry, black cumin and raspberry seed oils. While vapors of menthol, eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender comfort fussy babies at bath time.