Autumn Adventures: Keeping Your Little Ones Healthy & Happy

by | Apr 3, 2024

After an intense Summer with pockets of heatwaves across the country, we’re all too ready to welcome the cooler autumn months with its vibrant sunlight and beautiful autumn colours. 

As the crisp autumn air settles, it’s time to adjust our routines to keep our little ones healthy and thriving. From playful toddlers to curious babies, here are some tips to navigate the changing season.

Cozy Up & Keep Germs Out:

  • Layers are key: With autumn’s fluctuating temperatures, dress your child in layers so they can adjust throughout the day. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton for comfort. Our African sun can get hot, so removing a layer during the warmer parts of the day is easier. 
  • Washing hands becomes a game: Frequent handwashing is crucial to prevent colds and flu. Make it fun for toddlers with catchy songs or reward systems. Get them into the habit of doing so, especially after being out or about before meals or snack times.
  • Snuggle time with a twist: While snuggles are great, be mindful of others in your household showing signs of illness. If you’re sick as a parent, don a surgical mask or download a virtual app that can do the storytime reading for you. 

Embrace the Outdoors

  • Sunshine is your friend: Sunny South Africa is superb throughout the year. Catch those morning rays! Vitamin D from sunlight helps boost immunity. Remember sunhats and sunscreen for midday outings.
  • Nature’s playground: Autumn leaves offer endless entertainment. Explore parks, collect leaves for crafts or make nature crowns.
  • Buggy basics: Keep bug spray handy, especially during picnics or evening strolls. Choose child-safe repellents suitable for your child’s age.

Healthy Habits for Growing Bodies:

  • Hydration heroes: Water is essential year-round. Encourage frequent sips with a colourful, spill-proof cup to keep them hydrated.
  • Seasonal delights: Autumn brings a bounty of fruits and vegetables! Introduce your child to butternut squash, apples, and pears – their vibrant colours are nature’s invitation to try new tastes.
  • Movement matters: Active play strengthens growing bodies and boosts immunity. Indoor playdates with friends or exploring a local playground are great options.

Boosting Immunity:

  • A Balanced Diet is Best: Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These provide essential vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system.
  • Consider a Multivitamin: Consult your paediatrician about a child-specific multivitamin. This can be especially helpful if your little one is a picky eater or doesn’t get enough sunlight for adequate Vitamin D.
  • Natural Immune Boosters: Explore natural options like Vitamin C supplements (always consult your doctor before introducing supplements to babies) or a spoonful of local honey (for children over 1 year old) for its potential immune-supporting properties.

Mild autumn colds are common. Keep a nasal aspirator handy for stuffy noses, and saline drops can help soothe irritated passages. Remember, most childhood illnesses resolve on their own. If symptoms worsen or persist, consult your paediatrician.

The changing season is a chance for new discoveries and joyful moments with your precious little ones.