Is it a Cold or Allergies?
Expert Tips to Help Keep Kids Healthy During the Winter
ALLERGIES, COLDS … There are so many things that can make your kids sneezy and feeling sick every winter. How can you tell the difference between the two? How can you keep your kids from getting colds? Dr. Kenneth Compton, an ear, nose, and throat physician with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A., offers some tips for parents below.
Q: I think my child has a cold. But maybe it’s just allergies? It’s hard to tell when their noses are runny and they’re sneezing. What should I look for to see if they might have allergies?
A: * Itchy, watery eyes.
* Several weeks without improvement.
* Your kids get the same symptoms at the same time every year.
Q: What are the signs of a cold?
A: *A fever, a sore throat, and a cough.
* If your kids show improvement after a week or two, it’s probably a cold.
Q: I don’t want my kids getting sick! What should I do to keep them healthy?
A: * Keep them warm and dry when they play outside, but don’t dress them too warmly or they might sweat.
* Dress them in layers, and make sure those layers are loose so their blood circulates better and maintains their body temperature.
* Scarves and hats will keep them warm, too.
* Keep them away from other sick children, even their siblings, to prevent germs from spreading.
* Use a humidifier to kill the viruses and help your kids’ airways function normally in cool, dry conditions.
Q: That sounds great. What about food? What should I feed them to make sure they stay healthy?
A: * Fresh fruits and vegetables with vitamin A and vitamin C, like carrots, broccoli, citrus fruits, and berries, to boost their immune systems.
* Salmon and other fish with omega-3 oils, to reduce inflammation.
* Probiotic foods like yogurt, to replenish healthy strains of bacteria.
Dr. Compton practices in CEENTA’s SouthPark and Pineville offices. To make an appointment with him or any of the other great doctors at CEENTA, call 704-295-3000.