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It’s raining… children need more care

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THE rainy season is full of fun and excitement for our young ones, but its accompanying health risks should not be overlooked. Damp and humid conditions are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which can play host to a range of disease causing germs. High volumes of rainfall and the build-up of stagnant water attract mosquitoes, increasing the likelihood of malaria.

The increase in stagnant water also means we see a rise in waterborne diseases, food poisonings, coughs, colds and catarrh, while skin infections such as athlete’s foot are also heightened during the rainy season.

Children are vulnerable to infections and diseases during this season, so families should understand that these children need special care. Special care has to be taken for their water intake. Parents should make sure they carry a bottle of water when going out with their children.

They should also make sure that these kids do not play in stagnant and polluted water as it may lead to skin infections and other illnesses too. Parents should also ensure they bathe their little ones at least twice a day, and keep them healthy after bath.

They should towel the child’s body with cotton absorbent towel. Children should also be restricted from having outside food, especially the ones sold by roadside vendors. This season is odd as it attracts infections due to improper hygiene conditions of the surroundings.

Speaking about cold, Mrs Idigo Patricia, a pediatrician with a private hospital said: “Management of common cold in children involves ensuring they are well hydrated by giving them extra fluids, which helps with relieving the mucus plug in the nose.

They can be given vitamin C, which helps to boost their immune response. Parents should ensure children are given warm clothes. And if they have fever, they should be given antipyretics (drugs that help to relieve the fever such as ibuprofen, paracetamol). This drug can also be useful to relieve headache or any associated body pain. Steam inhalation can be given to help relieve nasal congestion.

The air can also be humidified to relieve the cold. The need for cough expectorant is prohibited, discouraged in children. If there is a need to treat a cough that is protracted, then a doctor can be visited who will prescribe drugs to treat the cough, especially if there’s a superimposed bacterial infection.

“In addition, health education is very important on hand hygiene, because the infection is usually transmitted from one person to another through hand contact. Regular hand-washing can help limit the spread, transmission of the disease from one individual to another.

The culture of regular hand-washing should be instituted and rejuvenated generally to help curb spread of diseases of which common cold is among. Good nutrition should also be maintained, as it will help provide the necessary boost to immune system to help fight the infections.

Parents should ensure their children wear cold weather accessories including cardigans, warm boots, gloves or mittens and a wool cap, which can keep them comfortable in cold weather. Dress babies and young children in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same condition.

Home remedies like honey has also been found useful to help fight common cold, but is advised that it should not be given to children under one year old to prevent the risk of botulism. It is also advisable for parents to visit hospitals if their wards or children were not responding to home treatment after contacting cold or any disease this rainy season”.

 

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