Preventing Recurrent Respiratory Diseases: How to Deal with the Succession of Infections


Recently, there has been a high incidence of infectious respiratory diseases such as mycoplasma pneumonia and seasonal flu. Many netizens express the sentiment that just as the “Influenza A” has left, “Influenza B” has arrived. Many parents note that their children often feel “not completely recovered before falling sick again,” experiencing recurrent coughing, discomfort in the throat, and even fever. In response, experts from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) department at Beijing Children’s Hospital affiliated with Capital Medical University advise that being patient with supplementation and paying attention to rest are crucial in preventing recurrent respiratory diseases in children.

Children are More Prone to Overlapping Respiratory Infections

Dr. Ren Shouchen, Associate Chief Physician of Pediatrics at Beijing Tiantan Hospital affiliated with Capital Medical University, explains that wearing masks in the recent past helped prevent respiratory infections, reducing the incidence of related diseases. This decrease in the chance of children coming into contact with various respiratory pathogens led to a reduction in immune stimulation, making it challenging for their immune systems to develop robust responses. With reduced mask-wearing this year and increased interactions among children, various respiratory infections are more likely to spread.

Preventing Recurrent Respiratory Diseases: Focus on These Three Points

Dr. Hu Yan, Director of the TCM department at Beijing Children’s Hospital affiliated with Capital Medical University, highlights three key points to prevent the recurrence of respiratory diseases:

1. Avoid Hastily Replenishing and Protect the Spleen and Stomach:

  • Dr. Hu Yan notes that many parents have a misconception that when children are ill and weakened, they need strong replenishment. Some even feed high-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt foods or adult supplements to children who may have no appetite. In TCM, during a child’s illness, the digestive function of the spleen and stomach weakens. Forcing a child to consume heavy and stimulating foods during this time increases the gastrointestinal burden, hindering recovery and potentially causing stagnation, leading to aggravated symptoms and prolonged illness.

2. Pay Attention to Rest and Avoid Crowded or Poorly Ventilated Places:

  • After a child contracts a respiratory infection, their physical strength decreases, and their resistance weakens. Poor external defense functions increase the risk of worsening symptoms or recurrence. Dr. Hu Yan emphasizes the importance of rest and avoiding crowded or poorly ventilated places to prevent the exacerbation of symptoms and reduce the risk of additional infections.

3. Avoid Hasty Exercise; Gradually Increase Physical Activity:

  • During the recovery period, children may still experience fatigue, excessive sweating, and poor appetite. Their physiological functions may not have fully recovered. Dr. Hu Yan advises against engaging in intense physical activities like running, climbing, or playing sports immediately after recovery, as it may lead to a recurrence of symptoms. Starting with mild activities such as sun exposure, walking, or light exercises, parents can gradually transition to more strenuous activities based on the child’s physical condition and overall health, allowing a gradual return to the original exercise intensity.

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