Are you a new parent?  Do you worry often about how to keep your new bundle of joy healthy, happy, and safe? Well, you’re not alone! As both a new mom, and physician assistant, I want to share some tips to help you protect your little one during the frigid winter months!

The holidays and cold months tend to be times where we are cooped up inside visiting family and friends.  It’s important to keep a few things in mind when you are out and about showing off your new little cutie.

  • When visiting family and friends, be mindful of what they are feeding your child. We all get excited when the pediatrician gives the go ahead to introduce solids and new foods.  However, it is important to introduce only one new food every 3-5 days. This will help your child’s medical provider more easily diagnose an allergy in the event of a reaction.
  • If your child is over the age of 6 months, make sure to contact your child’s medical provider to schedule a FLU shot. This will help protect them from this season’s strain of the flu. Common symptoms of the flu include cough, fatigue, or fever.  While these symptoms do not seem very severe, it is important to remember infants are one of the age groups at highest risk for not only contracting the Flu, but also fighting it because their immune system is still developing.
  • Take extra precautions to protect your family from viral infections such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which can cause coughing and wheezing in infants, as well as a runny nose or decreased appetite.  Washing your hands frequently, as well as cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces of your home can also help prevent RSV and the spread of other unwanted germs.  Avoiding contact with others that are sick is another smart way to keep your baby healthy.
  • Cold and dry weather can be harsh on a baby’s sensitive skin. Bathing with mild, perfume and fragrant free soaps, such as Dove, can keep your baby’s skin from getting too irritated and dry.  When moisturizing, use fragrance free lotions and sensitive skin products. Lotions are best for mildly dry skin while creams and ointments, such as Aquaphor or Eucerin, are better for more severe dry skin.  Using detergents free of fragrance, dyes, and softeners, such as Dreft, are best to prevent irritation and unwanted reactions from the harsh chemicals.

These are just a few tips to help guide you in the coming winter months.  Remember, as a new (or even experienced) parent, it is okay to not have all the answers.  At Allergy and Asthma Specialists, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have about allergies or asthma.  Call today for an appointment 270-684-6144.