How To Protect Children Who Are Prone To Infection During Seasonal Change

On July 17, 2020 | All

The onset of Monsoons, brings in challenges of mosquito related infections. This is when the mosquitoes start breeding. Mosquitoes like Aedes Egypti breed in pools or puddle of fresh water and can cause Dengue.

Dr.  Santosh Kumar, Paediatrician &  Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore

Monsoons are always an enjoyable time for everyone, especially kids. After a long scorching summer, they get to enjoy the pleasant rainfall and play around in the mud and rain. But this monsoon is going to be very different.

Children may not understand this, but we are dealing with a pandemic this year. Parents must be extra careful about their children’s safety around this time. While we are all taking the necessary precautions to protect our kids from coronavirus, we should not forget the illnesses/diseases that are caused by seasonal change, especially during monsoons. This is the time when your child’s immune system is weakened, making them susceptible to various waterborne diseases.

There are certain infections which are seasonal, and some specific infections are more common in certain seasons. Some of them are:

Various bacteria thrive during summer due to the heat and moisture. Children falling ill during summer is more common than one would assume. Cases of loose motion and vomiting occur often, and they result in dehydration. In extreme harsh temperatures beyond 40 degrees Celsius, newborn babies can develop dehydration related fever.

During winter, flu can be a very common phenomenon with children and therefore flu virus can be pretty active during this time. They may cause a variety of diseases from the common cold to swine flu. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, body aches, congestion become quite common during this season. Due to the cold weather, cases of lower respiratory infections or viral bronchiolitis in babies increase.

The onset of Monsoons, brings in challenges of mosquito related infections. This is when the mosquitoes start breeding. Mosquitoes like Aedes Egypti breed in pools or puddle of fresh water and can cause Dengue.

The female Anopheles mosquito breeds in marshy waters, this is the one that causes Malaria. Mosquitoes are most active during the time of sunsets, when children may be out playing. Additionally, during the rainy season, water contamination from sewage is quite common resulting in infections like diarrhea, vomiting, typhoid, cholera etc

Apart from diseases due to seasonal changes, there may be an increase in infections when children are in close proximity to each other for example at schools or at home with their siblings. We see a number of cases of the hand foot and mouth disease, which spreads from one child to another. This causes sores in the mouth or rashes on hands and feet. It is spread by direct contact with saliva or mucus.

Prevention better than cure during the pandemic

We are living in troubled times, the pandemic has changed our way of life forever. Things we took for granted must be given a lot of thought. For example, the simple task of going to a hospital. But in the current scenario, where we all are trying to maintain social distancing to stop the spread of the virus, it is better to prevent your child from falling sick, than taking them to hospital where there could be  exposures.

Guidelines for parents to ensure wellness of their children amidst the

  • Good nutrition: Healthy and balanced diet is the first step towards improving your child’s health and immunity. Parents should ensure that their child consumes all seasonal fruits, green leafy vegetables, so that they get a good vitamin supply in their diet. It is very important to avoid junk food.
  • Hand Hygiene: Teach them proper hand and respiratory hygiene. This is especially important in this pandemic ridden world. Lead by example; make sure they notice you washing your hands regularly. This will make them realise its importance and they will start imitating you. Good hand and respiratory hygiene will not only protect them from Covid-19 but also safeguard them from loose motions, typhoid, and various other viral infections.
  • Protect them from mosquitoes: As mentioned before, monsoon is the time when mosquitoes thrive. Ensure there is no water stagnation near your house. Use a mosquito net or apply repellents on your children to protect them from mosquito bites.
  • Bathroom Hygiene: This is necessary. Teach your child proper hygiene measures before after using toilet.
  • Regular vaccination: Vaccination or immunization is one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases. A vaccine or immunization is a way to build the body’s natural immunity to a disease before the individual gets sick. This acts as a protective shield and helps to keep various ailments and diseases under check
  • Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is important to keep the child active and fit. During this time, when most schools are shut it is very easy for a child to get used to sedentary lifestyle. This can cause childhood obesity, which unfortunately has become quite common among kids nowadays. Obesity might lead to complications like diabetes and hypertension .Infact exercise can also boast immunity in children..

The COVID Advice

It is natural to feel anxious about the current scenario. Although the nation-wide lockdown restrictions have been eased, parents should not let their guard down. The cases are rising and until we develop a vaccine or achieve herd immunity, we need to be careful and watchful.

However, children have an inherent immunity, but we must remember that they can be silent carriers of the infection. Kids, especially those, staying in joint families or living with elderly people must practice good hand hygiene and social distancing, so that they do not transmit infection to elderly family members.

Follow the above steps to improve your child’s health especially during this monsoon. It is certainly an enjoyable time that children long for every year, but make sure they follow all the safety precautions. In case your child falls ill, consult your doctor immediately.

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