Monsoon is the most awaited season of the year as it provides relief from the scorching summers. To make the best of the season, people like to treat themselves to samosas, pakodas along with hot tea or coffee. However, the change in weather conditions also brings along numerous infections and diseases. Senior citizens and children are most affected by this sudden change as their immunity may be compromised. Here are a few common monsoon illnesses that are seen amongst children, and how parents could be equipped to deal with them at home:
COLD AND FLU are the most common viral infections in children, as they spread easily from person to person through sneezing, coughing, shaking or holding hands with the infected person, especially in schools. Make sure your child avoids using common items like towels or handkerchiefs with other kids. Make sanitizers or medicated soap available, and make sure they use it; administer anti-viral medication, as per medical advice.
Intestinal infections like FOOD POISONING OR DIARRHEA are caused due to poor water quality or spoilt food. Hence, it is advisable for parents to boil drinking water even if it is filtered; this will prevent your children from waterborne diseases. Keep food covered, ensure access to fresh cooked meals, avoid roadside food and always consume uncut fruits, to prevent gastric issues.
DENGUE is another common monsoon disease; it is advisable for parents to make sure that mosquito repellent is applied on the child, when moving in and out of the house. You may also make them wear clothes that cover their entire body. Avoid keeping stored water in open tanks at or around the house. It will prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Children tend to play in puddles and muck, and they may come in contact with LEPTOSPIROSIS which is caused by coming in contact with water or soil that is contaminated by animal urine. If your child has any kind of open cuts or wounds, they are at risk. The incidences of leptospirosis cases can be reduced by improving sanitation standards and avoidance of urine contaminated water sources.
TYPHOID is a water borne disease which is caused due to contaminated food or water. It is advisable to make your children eat homemade food, as the food cooked outside may not be of a superior quality or maybe cooked in unsanitary conditions. Drinking ample amounts of fluids, hand washing before eating and after defecation, will be useful, apart from vaccination to prevent the disease.
(Disclaimer: The Writer is Dr Jesal Sheth & Dr Sameer Sadawarte, Senior Consultant Pediatricians, Fortis Hospital, Mulund. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)