8 health ailments to watch out this monsoon
Created by Anurima Updated on Aug 13, 2014
The rainy season brings in the greenery and the much awaited relief from the scorching heat. It however, also brings with it a host of illnesses. Most common illnesses are water or food borne, allergies and also respiratory disorders. It is always good to know the ailments and take a few precautions to help your little ones stay healthy this rainy season.
1. Cold, cough and fever (commonly known as flu): Children love to get wet and will do so at the slightest opportunity they get. This easily leads to a cold followed by viral fever.
• Runny / stuffy nose.
• Itchy / sore throat.
• Slight body aches or a mild headache.
• Watery eyes.
• Low-grade fever.
• When stepping out, dress your child appropriately- take along an umbrella, raincoat, and rain boots.
• If wet, change your child’s clothes as soon as possible. Dry wet hair thoroughly.
• Give your child citrus fruits to help build immunity against the common cold.
• Avoid sudden change in temperature such as taking your child into an air conditioned room when wet.
• Consult a doctor if fever is too high or if your child does not feel better after 5-6 days.
2. Dengue and Malaria: These diseases are caused by mosquitoes and the symptoms may not be obvious immediately. A person infected with either of the disease can take up to 2-4 weeks to recover.
• High fever, sometimes accompanied by chills.
• Skin rashes
• Muscle/ joint pain
• Keep the house clean from unwanted waste and stagnant water
• Dust curtains, bed linen, carpets regularly
• Ensure that the house is protected with detachable meshes or repellents
For detailed information on the above ailments, you may have a read of the blogs on Dengue and Malaria on the website.
3. Water and Food borne diseases: Water and food borne diseases that are widespread during the wet season are transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food or water. They include diseases that are caused by several species of the salmonella and shigella bacteria, cholera, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever.
• Severe diarrhoea which could lead to dehydration
• Nausea and vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• High fever
• Body ache/ headache
• Drink only clean, boiled water
• Avoid eating from street vendors
• Maintain hygiene-wash hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer before eating/ handling food
4. Fungal skin infections: A child can get a fungal infection throughout the year. However, they are more prevalent during the monsoon season as most fungi thrive in the hot and humid climate.
a. Ringworm: Ringworms appear as a circular ring shaped rash. It appears as a small itchy, red patch and can spread quickly to other parts of the body. Sometimes the patches may merge together to form a bigger patch.
Causes: Ringworm is usually contracted from an infected person or pet, contaminated clothes and toys. Excessive sweating also increases the chances of contracting ringworm.
b. Nail Infections: Excessive sweating and itching makes a child more prone to nail infections. The infected nails may become discoloured and brittle. The skin around the nail may also be swollen and itchy.
Causes: Any moisture trapped under the nails encourages the fungi to grow thereby increasing the infection.
c. Athlete’s Foot: As the name suggests, it is an infection related to the feet, wherein the infected foot looks red, itchy with a rash. It usually starts with the toes, which gradually spreads to the other parts of the foot. Other symptoms include burning sensation, cracked skin, blisters and foul smelling foot.
Causes: Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can spread from moist areas such as moist socks/shoes, shower areas or even from running outdoors barefoot during the rainy season.
• Consult your child’s doctor for an anti-fungal cream to treat the above ailments.
• Keep your child dry- ensure that the socks and shoes are dry. Change moist socks.
• Dress your child in light cotton clothes as other materials may irritate your child’s skin making them want to scratch and itch.
• After a shower or a wash, ensure that the skin in between your child’s toes are clean and dry.
• Give his clothes, including towels, a last rinse in an anti-septic wash to kill any traces of fungi from it.
5. Respiratory problems: Respiratory problems such as asthma hit a high during the monsoon months. Children below the age of 5 years are at more risk than older children or adults. During monsoon the level of grass pollen in the air increases thereby affecting children and the elderly with low immunity.
• Cough- dry or with congestion which becomes worse
• Wheezing while breathing caused by narrowing of the bronchial tubes
• Fever and fatigue
• A feeling of tightness in the chest
• Excessive crankiness in little children
• Loss of appetite or heaviness in chest after a meal
• Keep your child hydrated
• Make your child wear a mask when stepping out if prone to asthma
• Keep your child at a safe distance from a person who looks sick and is suffering from a cold or cough
• Maintain personal hygiene such as frequent washing of hands, taking a bath every day, wearing clean clothes etc.
6. Leptospirosis: This is a disease mostly contracted from infected animals but rats are known to be the main source of human infection. The infected rat passes on the disease through it urine. In severe cases, this disease can be fatal.
• High fever
• Internal bleeding
• Meningitis- Inflammation of the meninges (membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord)
• Liver failure in severe cases
• Prevent your child from playing in puddles or muddy water
• Ensure that your child wears appropriate clothing when wading through flooded areas- boots, rubber gloves, rain coats
• Give your child a shower if wet and keep him/her dry as much as possible
• Drinking water should be boiled for at least 15 minutes
• Fruits, vegetables and other food products should be washed thoroughly in clean running water
7. Eye infections: the common eye infections during this season are conjunctivitis, eye styes, dry eyes and corneal ulcers.
• Prevent your child from sharing tissues, handkerchiefs or towels with another person
• Encourage your child to frequently wash their hands
• Consult a doctor if your child’s eye looks irritated, red or itchy
8. Prickly heat rashes, Diaper rash, Eczema and Scabies: These skin ailments are common in young children during the rainy season. They are usually a mild itchy rash when can get uncomfortable and swollen due to the excessive moisture in the air.
• Dress your child in comfortable, loose and cotton clothing
• Change your baby’s diapers frequently
• Wash your baby’s clothes separately with a mild detergent. Do not share your child’s towels with another family member
• If a rash seems to be flaring up or not starts to ooze out fluid, consult the doctor immediately. A tropical antibiotic cream will usually help with the above skin conditions.
With a few precautionary measures, you may let your child enjoy the rainy season. They need not remain indoors all the time. Once the rain lets up, allow your children to explore the outdoors. Let them search for a rainbow, play cloud spotting games, floating paper boats in puddles or even collecting water in their little palms. Little experiences such as these help make growing up fun and memorable.
| Sep 19, 2014
Its very informative we must keep these in mind
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