This summer take extra care so that your child does not fall prey to the common seasonal ailments. During summers, the weather turns hot and humid, bringing with it many seasonal ailments which can affect children majorly. The most common are the viral and bacterial infections. Parents should also watch out for gastroenteritis that could result due to eating outside, not paying attention to the hygiene standards of the food outlet. The other common summer infections occur in swimming pools, a favourite activity with children. Swimming in a poorly-maintained pool may cause ear infections as well as sinusitis. Children catch infections easily and fall sick more often. To keep your children healthy and capable of warding off infections in summers, teach your children the benefits of hygiene and how to wash their hands properly. Discipline them into keeping clean hands while eating as germs in the hands are one of the biggest carriers for the spread of infections. Tell them to cover their mouths while coughing to prevent spreading infections. Make sure your child bathes daily and if he/she has spent a lot of time outdoors, make sure he/she has a bath after coming home. Parents should be careful about sending a sick child to school. As they are exposed to others, there is sudden spurt in infections. Parents should also never neglect to wash their hands after handling a sick child as this can cause the infection to spread to the other healthy children in family.

Common infections in summers Viral cold and cough This is the most common infectious disease in children. Dry air can lower the resistance to infection by the viruses that cause colds. Symptoms are a runny nose and sneezing. Children may also have a sore throat, cough, headache and mild fever. Do not use OTC (over the counter) medicines. Use saline drops to relieve nasal congestion. Let your child have adequate rest and give them plenty of fluids. See a doctor if the child coughs up a lot of phlegm and gets short of breath and runs a high fever.

Asthma Summer can be a dangerous time for kids with asthma. Smog and air pollution, high pollen levels and increased mould growth due to high humidity cause a spike in asthma attacks. The child should take daily controller medications help, throughout the summer. If pollution levels are high, it may be best to keep your kid indoors, in air conditioning, if possible. 

Ear infections An antibiotic or antibiotic ear drops are needed in case of a bacterial infection. The ear becomes painful, sometimes causing hearing problem. Most earaches hurt during the night. Some children feel dizzy. An ice pack over the ear helps to reduce the swelling. An ibuprofen can be given for pain relief. See a doctor if the pain persists or gets worse.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Common symptoms are burning sensation or pain while urinating, with an urge to urinate frequently. The urine can be foul smelling, cloudy or may be bloody. Frequent diaper changes help prevent spread of bacteria that cause infection. Children should be taught good hygiene and to wash up properly after urination. Never hold back urine as urine in bladder helps bacteria to grow. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeinated drinks. UTI can spread again if not treated properly. Make sure the infection has been completely cleared.

Diarrhoea This could be caused either by a virus, bacteria or parasites in the intestine resulting in loose stools. A mild diarrhoea should not last more than two weeks. In severe diarrhoea, the stools become watery. Make sure the child is well hydrated. But don’t give juices. See a doctor if there is mucus or pus in the stools.