Even as the whole world is reeling under the burden of Covid-19 pandemic, parents should be aware of various seasonal diseases that may occur during the rainy and winter seasons and must protect their children from these infections, doctors said.
Most common seasonal diseases are Influenza, Dengue, Malaria, Typhoid, and a few other viral infections that mimic those infections. The reasons for the spread of these diseases include water clogging, contamination of water bodies, improper sanitisation, rainwater puddles and overcrowding.
Flu is spread through droplet transmission, while dengue and malaria are caused by mosquito bite and diarrhoeal disease and water borne jaundice occurs due to consumption of contaminated water. Cold, cough, sneezing, rapid breathing, loose stools, vomiting, headache, body pains, fever, refusal of feeds are some of the common symptoms associated with flu-like illness. Other diseases also share some of the symptoms. Most of these infections are self-limiting and require only symptomatic medication along with adequate hydration.
“Visit to a paediatrician is important if a child has a fever for more than 3 days, experiencing fast breathing, reduction in urine output, lack of interest in food, unbearable abdominal pain or blood in stools or vomit. Getting hospitalized in these times of a global pandemic is not good for children, and parents must take good care to ensure it,” said Dr. Prayaga Jyothsna, Consultant Paediatrician, SLG Hospitals said,
Most of these infections are easily diagnosed and can be treated effectively with medication, and diseases like flu and typhoid are preventable with vaccines, and malaria and dengue can be prevented by control of mosquitoes, the doctor added.
“Ensure healthy and balanced diet and limit your child’s favourite roadside stall’s monsoon special, Sev puri, Pani Puri, chutney, pakoras, etc. for hygienic reasons. A daily bowl of hot vegetable soup or herbal tea is mandatory for your entire family to normalise body temperature and to boost immunity. Give your children plenty of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables that are washed properly. Make children drink clean, boiled or filtered water as it keeps their body hydrated and healthy. Ensure that there is no stagnant water either in your house or in your neighbourhood. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Dr. Anjul Dayal, Consultant Paediatrician, Continental Hospitals.
Dr. Prashanth Chandra, Consultant – General Medicine, Gleneagles Global Hospitals said parents should communicate with young children in an age-appropriate manner by using simple terminologies about Covid-19 to create awareness. “Efforts should be made so that a consistent routine is followed by the child, with enough opportunities to play, read, rest, and engage in physical activity. Provide more praise and social reinforcements to children compared to material reinforcements.”
Doctors pointed out that due to the lockdown and subsequent online schooling of the children there is restriction of mobility and confinement to home leading to sedentary lifestyle. This can potentially cause a huge surge in obesity or increased weight gain in children. Due to online schooling, the amount of time spent on screen has increased leading to various eye related problems such as dry eyes, vision and accommodation problems, etc. It is important parents stay cautious of every such aspect which would have an adverse impact on the child and could lead to hospitalisation.