Health tips for your child during a cool and breezy monsoon

The monsoon season is a very exciting time for the kids. The droplets of water, the sweet smell of the earth, the cool refreshing breeze and the puddles of water means a lot of merry, fun and at the same time, a handful of health related problems.

Monsoon is the season of cold, flu and other air borne and water borne infections. This is also the time when the puddles of stagnant water play host to the breeding of insects and potential vectors causing human disease. The humidity and dampness in the atmosphere is liable to contaminate raw as well as cooked food. Children are most vulnerable to the aforementioned health problems. Kids need extra care to stay healthy this season. Here are some tips to ensure good health of the child while enjoying the season.

1. Keep your child's room neat, clean and dry. Do not switch on the ACs during the monsoon.

2. Use antiseptic liquids while washing your kid's clothes and while cleaning your house.

3. Give a hot refreshing bath to your child every day. Teach him to use a hand sanitizer for cleansing.

4. Ensure that their clothes are warm and dry. Damp and moist clothes can lead to fungal skin infections. Make sure to dress babies and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear. Keep your child's feet dry at all times. Encourage them to wear slippers or socks inside the house.

5. Make your house insect proof. Mosquito is monsoon's best friend. Safeguard children from mosquito bites using mosquito nets, wire meshes on windows and doors, instead of coils. Dress them up in long clothes and full sleeved tops. Citronella oil based mosquito repellent stickers are available that can be plastered to their clothing. Clear water logging in and around the house immediately. Make sure there are no leakages in the roof or room walls.

6. Give the child balanced healthy home cooked food including hot milk, beverages and warm soups. Use antioxidants like turmeric, ginger and other herbs. Wash fruits and vegetables well before using them. Do not leave food uncovered. Consume foods rich in Vitamin C to boost the immune system. Keep them well hydrated. Use boiled or filtered purified water to avoid water borne diseases like dysentery, diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera.

7. Prepare your own Monsoon-medical-aid-kit (cold, flu and fever medicines).

8. Seek your doctor's advice on vaccination.

9. Invest in rain gear. A raincoat with a hooded jacket and waterproof shoes come in handy. Use synthetic slippers, gum boots and open sandals. Avoid leather and suede shoes.

10. Watch the rain. Don't get drenched in it!

Take care!

Article by Dr. Lakshmi Prashanth, MD (AIIMS)
Consultant Pediatrician
Kauvery Hospital, Chennai

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