Monsoon, which brings respite from the sweltering summer heat, can also lead to numerous health issues in children. Experts say that the sudden drop in temperature, higher humidity, and stagnant water after rains lead to various air, water, and mosquito-borne illnesses, which affect children of all ages.
“Dengue, malaria, and chikungunya are associated with high fever, severe body pain, rashes, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Severe symptoms like abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, lethargy, and bleeding in dengue cases require immediate medical attention,” said Dr. Prashant Moralwar, consultant pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar. Worm infestations can also occur due to contaminated food and water. “These food and water-borne diseases also cause dehydration in infants and toddlers,” added Dr. Moralwar.
Symptoms: Common cold and flu are accompanied by fatigue, fever, and body ache and generally last for less than a week. “A child who is down with flu should be given warm liquids like soup and should rest enough. He/she should not come in close contact with other children. Washing hands frequently and covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing is the need of the hour. Allergies and asthmatic conditions trigger in children due to increased humidity, fungus growth, and pollen in the environment,” he explained.
Treatment: It is imperative to consult a pediatrician for timely intervention. Treatment is adequate fluid intake and rest. ORS and other liquids like dal water, buttermilk can also be advised to children.
Prevention: Experts say that parents or guardians should take adequate preventive measures, including diet and sanitary habits. “Ensure a diet loaded with fruits, milk, eggs, and nuts to enhance the child’s immunity. Fruits and vegetables should be washed properly before eating. Drinking water should be boiled or RO/UV. Avoid spicy and sugary foods, especially street food, and stick to home-cooked food. Make sure your child washes his/her hands before eating and after using the toilet. A warm shower after getting drenched in the rain can help the child get rid of germs. Avoid visiting crowded places to reduce the risk of viral infections. Do not touch your nose and mouth with your hand without washing them,” said Dr. Ankit Gupta, lead pediatric critical care specialist, Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road.
Some other preventive measures include:
*Making sure the child wears full-sleeved clothes while stepping out
*Using mosquito repellents and sprays to prevent bites
*Wearing proper footwear in rains and washing feet after walking in flooded areas.
*Regularly washing and changing bed sheets, blankets, and other household items to prevent allergens.
“Dengue mosquitoes breed in stagnated clear water so ensure water doesn’t accumulate in coolers, flower pots, or near the house. Consult a pediatrician in case your child has symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, or decreased urine frequency. Vaccination is recommended against flu,” Dr. Gupta noted.