Parenting Tips: How to prevent airborne diseases in kids during Monsoon season?

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Dr. Atish Laddad, Founder & Director at Docterz has shared some vital tips to prevent airborne diseases in kids during Monsoon season. Read on to know more.

The enjoyable rain moments like the mere catching of raindrops on your tongue, hopping over puddles, the escapade of splashing in knee-deep water and a few extra school holidays. This is exactly what kids eagerly wait for when the academic year starts with the arrival of monsoon, the most awaited season. But amidst all this fun and frolicking, parents and guardians must bear in mind that rains also bring a host of nasty visitors like viral fevers, cold and flu, the Novel COVID 19, pneumonia and other such airborne diseases which can wreak havoc to a child’s health and well-being. These airborne ailments tend to turn up every year following the cities’ first showers. While it is unmanageable to prevent many of these, we can shield our little munchkins from falling trap to these ailments by ramping up our preventive measures.

Airborne diseases are nothing but infections that are spread by tiny pathogens present in the air. These can include fungi, bacteria, or viruses, but they are all diffused via the airborne contact. In most cases, an airborne ailment is contracted when the person has inhaled in the air that has been infected. A significant point to bear in mind is that the person who has inhaled the infected air also spreads the ailment through the medium of their breath, chiefly by sneezing and coughing, and through mucus. While almost anyone can fall trap to these air-related ailments, but kids falling under the immunocompromised state tend to become more susceptible.

Since their immunity level in the body is still maturing, they can be more vulnerable to falling prey to these diseases. Many airborne viruses are common and can have mild or severe indications. Comprehending illnesses that spread through the air, and how to avert and avoid them, is important. While there are plenty of treatment options available, the simplest measures, having enough ventilation at home to enable the kid to breathe in the fresh air, ensuring the kid stays at home and reduces contact with others who are sick can definitely lend a helping hand in preventing these ailments.

Common airborne diseases

Particles that are responsible to cause airborne ailments are tiny enough to stick to the air. They tend to hang on particles of dust, moisture droplets resent in the air, or on the breath till the time they get picked up. They are also developed by contact with fluids present in the body like mucus or phlegm. Once these harmful pathogens enter inside the body, they burgeon till the time your child has contracted the disease. Some of the common air-related ailments are-

Influenza: The periodic “flu” virus that tends to spread effortlessly from person to person. The flu comprises a number of strains and it frequently fluctuates to familiarise itself to the child’s immune system.

The common cold: This condition is usually instigated by a rhinovirus. There is a multitude of rhinoviruses, and the strains alter to make it effortless to contaminate the child.   

Varicella-zoster: This virus is typically responsible to produce chickenpox and it can spread very easily among young kids. The rash is characteristically prevalent on the body and is made up of small red spots that turn into prickly blisters with swellings, which scab over in time. Chickenpox can spread for about forty-eight hours prior to a rash showing up, which is how it contaminates others so effectively. It is frequently spread through the air or by coming in contact with the rash.

Measles: This disease is caused by coming in contact with a person who has contracted the measles virus, or by inhalation of particles from their sneezes or cough. Vaccination is of prime significance for averting the spread of this disease.

Whooping cough (pertussis): This is a very transmissible, bacterial ailment that leads the airways to inflate. The hacking cough that results is stubborn and is usually treated with antibiotics early on to stop further damage.

Below mentioned are a couple of precautionary tips that can help in offering respite from monsoon-related airborne ailments.

The length of an illness caused by a common airborne disease can vary from a few days to weeks, but it is usually dealt with easily. Airborne diseases are widespread and easily treatable, in most cases. Complete prevention is difficult, but there are some ways to reduce exposure to the pathogens that cause them.

Ramp up hygiene and sanitary habits: Comprehending the current global crisis that has impacted almost all the corners of the nation, parents must ensure the child is carrying out good hygienic and clean habits. By the following hygiene can significantly lessen the peril of communicating airborne diseases.

When your child steps out in public ensure he or she is covering their face with safety masks if they are big enough and in case of toddlers cover their mouth with comfortable cloth. 

Kids must be taught to cover their mouths with their elbows or tissue while they sneeze or cough. Hand-washing on a regular basis can also facilitate in lowering the spread of bodily fluids that may comprise of disease-causing germs. 

Ensure your child washes hands before each meal, post outdoor play and after using the washroom. Cleaning hands, about 6 to 8 times a day, is one of the effortless and most operative means to curb the spread of infection. 

Encourage kids to properly wash even their feet and toes and give them a warm shower post getting drenched in the rain to help them to get rid of unwanted germs. Always remember kids do what their parents do, hence parents must themselves follow good habits so that the kids will follow suit.

Taking care of ventilation and air management at home: It is suggested that by increasing ventilation will certainly aid in exchanging air between the internals and the externals of a building. 

In an airless and stuffy area, pathogens, contaminants, and dampness tend to build up to hazardous levels. Cleaning the air with a filter will help in keeping an area free from pollutants and pathogens.

Feed your child with a wholesome and well-balanced diet: Incorporate immunity foods like fresh vegetables, boiled water, fruits, nuts, milk, yogurt and eggs to your child’s diet. This will help in enhancing their immunity thus helping them to combat any infections and viruses.

Never neglect child vaccinations: Fever, body pain, sneezing, and so on are common signs of a characteristic monsoon-induced infection and could even direct the start of viral diseases in children. The best kind of safeguard you can lend yourself and your little one against the frequent germs and sicknesses is getting up-to-date on your vaccinations.

It is recommended to get not only booster shots prior to the arrival of the rains but also to check if any new vaccines might be pertinent to your children like the pneumococcal, typhoid, flu and hepatitis A vaccine. 

These will greatly facilitate in boosting the child’s defense system against these bacteria. Parents must contact their child healthcare specialist right away and take the measures essential to battle the infection in its nascent stage itself.

Parents must note that it is very important to consult a pediatrician early, in case your child has been experiencing signs such as continuous vomiting, poor appetite leading to less oral intake, tiredness, uncontrollable stomach pain, and reduced urine output. 

Common airborne monsoon illnesses if not treated on time, can lead to more grave problems like pneumonia. Hence it is prudent to consult your paediatrician early to enable yourself and your child to rejoice the showers.

By Dr. Atish Laddad, Founder & Director at Docterz

ALSO READ: Hair fall issues: Home remedies to prevent hair fall in monsoon season

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