I am assuming most of you gorgeous moms have swapped the seasonal clothes in the wardrobe, replaced those easy-breezy summer outfits with everything warm and woolly and can finally snuggle down wrapped inside your cosy comforter with that steaming hot ‘chaye’, garma garam soup or crispy peanuts to munch on. *Phew*
This fling with winter season is often short-lived until that first bout of common cold hits your safe and comfy zone. Lo and Behold, all hell breaks loose as a cycle of sore throat-coughing-sneezing-fever-flu kicks off. Passed on from kid # 1 to kid # 2, making its way into mama’s systems and when after weeks’ struggles, there are finally signs of recovery, daddy dear is infected too. Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the sickest of them all? O.o Vicious winter saga of illnesses begin!
Experts say that an average healthy child picks common cold at least 6-8 times a year so technically speaking, becoming sick is a part of growing up for kids and shouldn’t be met with a lot of panic unless there is a critical situation identified by a pediatrician.
We are Desi Moms and we do NOT remain calm! :p
In fact, it is impossible to remain cool and composed with a plethora of unsolicited advice that is there to follow. Also, remember you are not a SUPER MOM if you don’t ‘pretend’ to worry and do all sorts of magic totkas on your kidlings. After all, making a kehwa of ginger, garlic and hundreds of miscellaneous ingredients or following an antibiotic course is an easier feat than battling those raised eyebrows questioning your parenting ethics upon not following those ‘sadiyon say aazmooda’ MYTHS! Those dispensing these gems of advice do it so self-assuringly that most moms eventually succumb to the old wives’ tales without a fight. Sab baray keh rahey hain kuch to baat main dum hai!
This being my favorite topic, i will discuss (and dissect) some of the most common myths we hear in winter season. Lets make them ‘viral’! 😉
1. “THAND lag gayi chotu ko”!
Clearly some people take the meaning of ‘common cold’ too literally, believing you fall sick because you CAUGHT cold. Bhai, Latt lag gayi is fine but can someone please explain to me how this ‘thand lag gayi’ phenomenon comes about? Does ‘cold’ have the magic power of getting inside your body and disrupt your systems? Did your kid ‘catch’ cold instead of a ‘sixer’ while playing cricket out in a chilly, frosty evening?
Dear Moms, contrary to the popular beliefs common cold is a viral infection and is caused by seasonal VIRUSES ONLY. Your baby’s body temperature will, in no way tell why the little one fell sick at first place. Stop blaming the wet clothes or that relative who took her out in cold.
2. “Ice cream/ Juice/ cold drink piya tha na – Dekha galla kharab ho gaya”!
You are not qualified to be called a ‘DESI’ if you haven’t grown up listening to this one :p
Many people give in to the notion because they believe that ‘cold’ and not viruses are the main culprit behind winter illnesses. The fact is that ‘sore throat’ is amongst the first symptoms of common cold caused by viral infection.
So please stop forbidding all the yummy treats for winters “just because”. Keep the use limited year-long, but forbidding these because they might catch cold is as silly a notion as a frog with horns. Ice creams and Vitamin C intake has been proved beneficial for throat and over all health in winters. Incidentally, we have survived 3 winters eating all these occasional treats and never once was the situation aggravated (Alhamdullilah) rather what better way to comfort your sick child and regain some bonus calories they lost during sickness?
3. “Sardiyan hain—bachon ko ‘andar’ rakho”!
If that be the case then countries where it snows thickest should come to a standstill, right? It’s a common belief that keeping kids ‘indoors’ during colder season would keep them protected. However, since the cold is ‘caught’ because of coming into contact with ‘virus’ and not the cold outside, keeping them kids bound indoors would only deprive them of making some magical winter memories and inhaling some fresh air. Crammed inside enclosed spaces makes them more exposed to the viruses and eventually more prone to falling sick.
One of the SANEST advice i got when my winter baby was born was to make her used to going out and keep the house ventilated in the winters. I swear by it for little kids.
4. “NEHLANA Matt – Thand lag jaye gee”!
If there is a word to describe a warm bath, its ‘ultra-soothing’. For adults & kids alike. It is not too uncommon to find elders forbidding you to bathe kids because they will catch a cold. I have seen cases where the little darlings were bathed once a week just out of necessity in a fear of falling sick.
‘Bathing’ baby in winters was and is my favorite remedy to keep illnesses away. This one thing made hell of a difference in my life from the day one. Keeps kids super clean and germ-free. Keeps them warm and happy (provided of course your bathing area is already warm and so is your room). The steam from warm bath helps moisten the dry insides and unblocks the nasal congestion and they sleep in peace. Recovers quicker. Tried & Tested 3 years.
5. “Fever hai/ Naak beh rahi hai/ khaansi hai- OTC Medicine is a must”
‘Runny nose’, cough and a slight fever caused by viral infection are just symptoms of cold and in no way a disease. Please go through THIS fantastic article by FDA, clearly stating that OTC medicines can not relieve a cold. When you are sick, the immune system of the body comes into play and secretes certain proteins which signals the cells to produce more mucus. Hence the runny nose! This in an effort to kick out harmful viruses or bacteria. How cool and proactive is our system!
A runny nose is in no way a sickness and no medicine is going to help the situation. What will help you and others however is blowing the nose regularly, disposing off the tissues properly and washing hands. Same goes for coughing, it serves the purpose of clearing the mucus out of the body. As for the fever, when your body is fighting through a viral infection,your immune system comes into play, resulting in a slight fever which goes away on its own in 1-2 days. IF it doesn’t get better, follow-up with the doctor but please don’t ruin the natural immune system of your kid by stuffing in unnecessary meds.
6. “ANTIBIOTICS hain nah”!
Desis use antibiotics like nobody’s business! Most households are stocked with antibiotics and family members remember their names by heart. Whats even interesting is how some doctors happily prescribe antibiotics on a first symptom of cold.
Here is a simple math lesson for you to remember forever!!
Common cold is caused by —– VIRUS.
whereas Antibiotics prevent the growth of BACTERIA.
Common sense should solve the theorem on how an antibiotic works for a viral infection!
Science proves that an overuse of antibiotics by masses has resulted in resistant bacteria. So next time you are swallowing that ‘unprescribed’ antibiotic medicine as if it’s some chocolate, feel free to take a guilt-trip because you not only harmed your body but the environment too. HERE is one good article if you wish to read more but the internet is full of resources on negative consequences of antibiotics.
So how many of these myths have you heard? Do you believe in these or have some more fun ones to add? Comment away, i am all ears 😀
Stay safe and snug! xx