Summer is that gorgeous (and tiring!) time of the year when the kids are home on vacation, spend time playing all day, and demand snacks at all kinds of unearthly hours. However, this is also the time when they are at the highest risk of falling ill! What if there are some stubborn ailments that can spoil their summer if you aren’t careful?
Don’t worry, Mom. Understanding the risks, preventive measures, symptoms and treatment can help you stay one step ahead of whatever is troubling your child. We bring you the 10 most common summer ailments kids are prone to and also tell you how to deal with them.
1. Dehydration & Sunstroke
During the summer holidays, the hours just disappear! The kids are very happy playing in the sun outside, but the continuous exposure can sometimes cause the body temperature to rise abnormally. The water content of the body also falls, and the result is disorientation, nausea and even fainting.
What you should do: Difficult as this will be, try to keep the kids indoors when the sun is at its worst. Keep them hydrated; we have a wide variety of summer coolers for kids to help you out here!
This chronic skin disease has the tendency to aggravate during summer, on account of sweat, exposure to sun, and increased secretion of oil. Your child may suffer from a skin rash as a result.
What you should do: Try and keep your child’s skin as free of moisture and sweat as possible. A hypoallergenic sunscreen and moisturiser is your best bet. Consult a skincare specialist who will be able to advise you based on your child’s exact skin type.
3. Insect Bites
Remember how summer brings with it the haunt of irritating insects? From mosquitoes and bees to wasps and pests, summer is the hotbed for bites of all kinds! This can lead to skin rashes, inflammation, fever and extreme pain.
What you should do: Prevention is really the best option here. Teach your kids to stay away from insect-ridden areas and keep exposed skin areas at a minimum. If they are bitten, follow this detailed guide on combating bites and stings in kids.
Like bacteria, viruses are also overactive at this time. There is a fair chance that the virsues causing “pink eye” can reach them through dirty hands. This leads to redness, itching and eye inflammation.
What you should do: Hand-wash! Use these creative ideas to teach your kids to handwash. Also ask them to avoid touching their face or eyes unnecessarily. If they have contracted the problem, eye drops usually help clear it up in some time.
5. Swimmer’s Ear
All those long hours in the swimming pool, so much fun, and an ear canal that is infected! If some of the water remains trapped in your child’s ear, the moisture can trigger bacterial growth. This leads to itching and severe pain.
What you should do: Make sure the kids wear ear plugs while in the water. If they have been infected, administer an over-the-counter antiseptic ear drop.
6. Food Poisoning & Diarrhoea
While this can typically strike throughout the year, summer is when bacterial growth is at its peak. This is also when the kids consume the greatest amounts of street and junk food. If microbes find their way into the digestive tract, it can induce vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever.
What you should do: The only way to avoid this is to maintain excellent hygiene in the kitchen and consume only fresh, well-cooked food. If you are going out for dinner, make sure the restaurant meets hygiene standards as well.
7. Urinary Tract Infection
It’s not just the skin that heats up with sun exposure, your alimentary canal doesn’t like it either! This, combined with insufficient water consumption, can lead to stomach cramps and pain during urination.
What you should do: Get your kids to drink more and more water! Keep their stomach cool with foods such as watermelon and buttermilk. Also maintain cleanliness and personal hygiene. If the infection is severe, your child may need antibiotics.
8. Viral Cold & Cough
Which kid ever said no to ice-creams, cold-drinks and delicious roadside snacks, especially in summer? But this is also the season when the air is really dry, and their resistance to infection-causing viruses is low. A viral fever is very common at this time, leading to a runny nose, sore throat, cough and headache.
What you should do: A good amount of rest, plenty of fluids and saline drops are usually sufficient to recover from the ailment. Consider visiting a doctor if the symptoms refuse to subside.
9. Prickly Heat
This is probably the most aptly named summer ailment ever! Too much sweating sometimes blocks the skin pores which causes raised bumps. And yes, they feel really prickly!
What you should do: Opt for a chemical-free talcum powder which can ease the condition. Also dress up your child in loose-fitting cotton clothes as far as possible.
Blame it on the air pollution, intense heat and humidity, high pollen levels or increased microbial growth, asthma attacks have been noted to rise at this time. Your child may also encounter other respiratory illnesses or infections.
What you should do: If your child is asthmatic, try to keep him indoors when the pollution and heat are the highest. Make sure the home environment is clean and sanitised. Keep his inhalers and any prescribed medication handy.
Now that you are armed with knowledge of the risks beforehand, we foresee a happy and healthy summer. Just make sure you heed any warning signs and visit the doctor if the symptoms refuse to die out with the solutions provided.