Whatever may be the age of child, parents are always on the look out for various conditions, weather changes, etc. that can trouble their child at home. After all, whatever is the age of the child, he/she is always baby of their parents.
This year like other years weather has become unpredictable. The met department says that this is not the onset of winter, but the nip in the air early morning and late at night makes parents wonder as to what should be the clothes to be worn. As far as clothes are concerned try not to over clothe the child. For early mornings or late nights you can have full sleeves top or pyjamas. This should be enough to protect the child against exposure and mosquito bites.
Talking of mosquito bites and dengue fever has hit our town again but luckily not as bad as last year. Prevention is the treatment for dengue. Keep not only your house but also the surrounding areas dry and clean and do not allow water to be collected or stored without covers. The time for coolers is over, so please have your coolers cleaned and dried. If you have any old tyres, tubes, pipes, etc., lying in the backside or terrace have them thrown away so that they cant be the breeding place for mosquitos.
With the change of season, viral infections show an upsurge. These viral infections can present as cold, cough, eye conjunctivitis and even diarrhoea. Keep your children under close observation preferably at home and look out for signs like high grade fever, rash, increasing cough, etc. generally treatment for viral infections is symptomatic that is good clean water, plenty of fluids, hygienic food and water and maybe some antipyretics for fever. If not better in 2-3 days, please consult your doctor.
Asthamatics have a bad time with this change of season. Acute attacks are precipitated probably by viral infections leading to severe bronchiolitis in infants and acute attacks in older children. Consult your doctor incase your child is coughing and breathing heavily, not able to eat well or drink well and or if running high fever. Do not try to treat such conditions at home as they can be life threatening.
With the perpetual problem of water supply and water shortage in fever and jaundice are always playing a major role. Please be sure of the kind of water for the children. Do not allow them to eat cooked foods or juices and fruits etc. from outside which are made unhygienically.
With lots of festivals lined up in the next few weeks, look after your child that he/she eats well, does not overeat and does not consume too many sweets as anything in excess is not good for us.
(The writer is head of the department, Paediatrics, Batra Hospital, Delhi and a former vice president of Delhi Medical Association.)