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How To Take Care Of Your Children During The Monsoon Season

Seasons play a great role in the health of children. The monsoon, requires extra carefulness from parents to take care of the children as along with bringing relief from the scorching sun, monsoon season may cause health issues in children whose immune systems are still developing.

Some of the symptoms which might affect children during the monsoon include fever, diarrhoea and typhoid. These symptoms could be due to viral and bacterial infections which are frequent during the rainy season and caused due to multiple reasons like the bite from mosquitoes, infected food and water and an unhygienic environment. [1]

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In this article, we will discuss how to take care of your children during the monsoon, which also includes how to take care of newborns, infants and toddlers. Remember, that taking care of babies in all seasons always requires extra caution, awareness and effort.

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Caring For Children During The Monsoon

1. Foods

According to a study, the nutrition of children may get affected in monsoon, especially if they live in flood-prone areas with less access to healthcare, clean drinking water and unhygienic sanitation.

Breastfeeding babies may be at low risk as they depend on breast milk for nutrition, however, for infants (below age one) and toddlers (between age 12-36 months) extra care is required as they are dependent on homemade food and their immune system is in a growing phase. It is good to always keep the food covered and not give them stored food. [2]

2. Fruits And Vegetables

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends taking fruits and vegetables for all children who are two years of age and older. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a diet for children. They are rich in nutrients like folate, potassium, fibre, phytochemicals and vitamins like C, K, A, E which helps build their long-term immunity and keep diseases like typhoid or malaria at bay. [3]

For monsoon, include more seasonal fruits and vegetables like jamun, guava, cucumber, beans, tomato and gourds in your children's diet.

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3. Water

Excessive rainfall in monsoon can decrease water quality, hamper sanitation facilities and may force households to access water from dirty or unsafe sources. This directly affects children's health and nutrition and makes them prone to water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea.

Therefore, be extra cautious in the monsoons. Give your children only boiled water to drink. Another good tip would be to add carom seeds (ajwain) to the boiling water. This will help maintain the health of the digestive system. Avoid storing water in a feeding bottle. After the baby has had water, discard the remaining water and clean the container. This is because used utensils attract more flies. [4]

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4. Clothing

Babies are thermally vulnerable and therefore, need one extra layer of dressing than adults. During monsoons, thermal fluctuation is common. When it rains, the weather gets cool and pleasant, and when the sun comes out, the weather becomes hot and humid. These fluctuations in temperature are not always good for children, especially babies below one year whose immune system is yet to develop to withstand these changes.

Excessive rainfall can cause colds, coughs and fever while the humid temperature can lead to rashes and itching and make your children uneasy. Therefore, understand your children's clothing needs of the season and dress them accordingly.

5. Cleanliness

No matter what the season is, cleanliness is always required. However, the concern grows a little more during the monsoon season due to increased vector-borne and water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and malaria.

Introduce some good cleanliness practices such as placing a doormat and not allowing shoes in the house, mopping the house with disinfectants, cleaning furniture to discourage germ buildup and washing clothes regularly as they tend to catch moisture and mould. Also, regularly wash all your children's toys, change their bedspreads at least once in a week and wash their towels twice a week followed by proper drying.

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6. Hygiene

Personal hygiene of children is equally important as the cleanliness of the surroundings. The foremost step towards baby care is to maintain proper hygiene for the baby. Sweating during humid weather can cause the accumulation of germs in the skin which may lead to fungal infections. [5]

Therefore, make sure to give your baby a bath with antiseptic soap at least once every day. You may even sponge the baby later in the day to rub off the extra sweat. This may help prevent skin problems such as rashes and allergies in children which are common during monsoon.

7. Save From Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes are the most active during the monsoon due to rainfall and humidity. This is because the season provides the perfect breeding ground, thus leading to an increase in their numbers and related infections.

To protect your children from mosquito bites, always cover their hands and legs with proper clothing, use mosquito nets while sleeping and use natural mosquito repellents that are not harsh for their skin and are effective. [6]

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Other General Child Care Practices

  • Ensure that your baby does not stay in wet nappies to avoid rashes and other skin infections.
  • Remember to trim their nails at least once a week.
  • Do not allow stagnant water inside your house or your surrounding as they act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Give your children daily baths or sponging and must clean their underarms, neck, genitals and other folds of the body.
  • Don't forget to massage them with oils after the bath followed by proper clothing.
  • Always use fresh, soft and dry towels.
  • Maintain a pleasant room temperature, neither too hot nor too cold.
  • If you are preparing juices make sure they are from fresh fruits or vegetables.
  • Allow your children to play in areas near your home and avoid muddy or dense shrub areas.
  • Always carry a hand sanitiser while stepping out to clean hands frequently while handling a baby.
  • If your child has got drenched in rain, dry them as soon as possible.
  • Don't forget to get your child vaccinated every year for diseases like flu, typhoid and hepatitis.
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    To Conclude

    Every child needs care in all seasons. The monsoon season just needs extra carefulness as many diseases prevail during this season. Following healthy and hygiene practices will keep your children safe during the monsoon and make the season enjoyable.

Story first published: Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 16:00 [IST]