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Winterizing Your 1-Year-Old

Along with the holidays comes winter weather and a host of health hazards for your child. To keep her healthy, start with proper attire. Layers of lightweight, absorbent clothing, which can be removed as necessary, are more effective than one or two heavy garments. A good rule of thumb is to dress your child in the same number of layers that you would wear under the same conditions, plus one.

If your child is at greater risk than average for serious illness, you might consider a flu shot. This is often recommended for children over 6 months whose immune system is suppressed or who suffer chronic pulmonary disease, heart problems, or sickle-cell disease.

Winter dryness can affect 1-year-old skin both indoors and out. The best way to deal with dry skin is to prevent it. Installing a cool mist humidifier in your child's room can help counteract the drying effect of indoor heating systems. Clean the humidifier daily according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid harmful microbial growth, which can cause allergic reactions.

If your child does develop dry skin, stop using soap during his bath, which can be irritating. Petroleum jelly can be used to soothe chapped cheeks and chins (a real problem if your child tends to drool when teething), and lip balm is safe for treating and for preventing chapped lips.

Nosebleeds, too, are associated with the dry air of winter. Applying a little petroleum jelly just inside your child's nostrils can help (but be careful not to block the nostrils). With a little careful planning, when the weather outside is frightful, your child can still feel delightful!

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All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.