Dr. Naveen D. Kini

Childcare, online consultations and vaccinations 


Common summer ailments, and how to avoid them

Posted by Naveen Kini on April 20, 2018 at 9:55 AM

Summer is here, and the little ones are at home driving the exasperated parents up the wall, trying to keep them occupied. Movies, day trips, vacations, IPL matches and restaurant visits are all on the calendar, just to keep them out of mischief! As parents, the last thing you would want is an illness which keeps your dear one away from all the fun. Here is a list of common disorders of this season, and simple methods to avoid them.

Food poisoning and water borne illnesses are the easiest to contract in this season. Notable in this category are Acute Gastroenteritis (which causes vomiting and diarrhoea), Hepatitis A (which causes jaundice) and Typhoid fever. The single most effective preventive method is hand washing before each meal. Also, be choosy and careful about the stuff that you eat outside. Any dish that is cooked on high flame, and served immediately, is reasonably safe; whereas dishes which involves preparation with the hands (chaats), which contain unsterilized water (fruit juice) or those which have exposed to dust and flies (cut fruits like watermelon) are major contributors to the prevalence of these diseases.

Children playing outside in the blazing sun are prone to Dehydration, and sometimes even Heat Stroke. Other contributory factors include wearing many layers of dark clothing, and inadequate fluid intake and rest. Make sure that your young sportsman, and the even the younger runabouts, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water and electrolyte containing fluids (ORS and tender coconut water) when they are out in the sun. A sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) is a must in children of all ages to prevent Sunburn, another common affliction.

Conjunctivitis, or eye infection, is a common and irritating condition. It rapidly spreads in families and places where children tend to congregate (like summer camps). The spread can be minimised by strict washing of hands, and regular cleaning of the eye discharge with saline water. Antibiotics are usually not required, as most of the cases are caused by viruses.

Viral infections like Mumps, Chicken Pox and Influenza are prevalent in summer too, and prior vaccination can prevent them. The regular rains in Bengaluru are ensuring that the Dengue virus continues to be threat, and therefore anti-mosquito measures such as the nets and repellents should continue to be used.

Skin rashes caused by the heat (heat rash or miliaria) and sweat (fungal infections) can be recurrent problems in children in this season. Regular and thorough bathing, and wearing light and loose fitting clothing can avert them.

Swimming is a favorite summer activity, so make sure that you select the pool carefully. Many of the above illnesses can be acquired from a poorly maintained and contaminated pool!

Make sure that your children get adequate sleep (at least 9 to 10 hours}, drink plenty of liquids and eat nutritious food. Reduce electronic media exposure to 1 to 2 hours in a day. Make outings a family affair, so that the joyful memories of summer remain etched in your child’s mind forever!

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