Summer season is here which means playing outdoors, water parks, swimming and camping!! And yes no more studies and homework! Every year, children await the onset of summer months to fill their lives with joys of holidaying and making new friends. Amidst all the excitement and free family time you look forward to, taking care of your child during this hot season is every parent’s priority and equally challenging.
Following are Ten illnesses that your child is likely to take on this summer.
Heat Exhaustion– Playing outdoors and camping can be very exciting for your child and scary at the same time when it comes to heat cramps. Children experience sudden muscle cramps either on the leg or abdomen, may feel dizzy, pukish or also sweat more than required. Excessive fluid loss due to high rising temperatures during summer can lead to dehydration which is the main cause for these cramps to occur. Keep your child well hydrated and give them enough fluids in order to avoid cramps.
Heat Stroke – This is a much more serious condition than heat exhaustion which is rare but can happen in children. It is also termed as hyperthermia due to severe high exposure to environmental heat. Profuse sweating, fainting episodes and severe weakness is the usual feature. Bringing your child to a cooler environment in breaks and hydrating your child frequently can prevent this condition.
Skin bumps – Right from prickly heat rash in infants to pus filled boils in toddlers, skin rashes are no exception when it comes to handling the summer heat. Always carry coconut oil or a cold cream handy while taking your baby outdoors. Heat boils are very painful to touch and can also give your child a fever. Consult your pediatrician for the same and keep antibiotics handy in your first aid kit while travelling.
Bug Bites – Children can get bitten by these little bug monsters while camping, going to a park or in a beach. Watch out for mosquitoes, ticks, bugs, bee stings and sandworms while taking your child outdoors. Attend to the insect bite immediately by providing first aid or rushing a doctor’s visit.
Sun burns – Sun burn is damage to the skin due to exposure to harmful UV rays. You may notice your child’s skin getting red and warm mainly on the exposed parts of the body. This can lead to itching and patchy skin if left unattended. Light skinned people are more prone than dark skinned due to absence of protective pigment melanin. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 before stepping out in the sun and repeat it every few hours.
Allergies – Seasonal allergies due to allergens in the environment from trees, flowers, pollens and weeds can induce an allergic response and make your child sick. This can present itself like sniffles and sneezing; your child may have an itchy throat after being exposed outdoors to these areas. If your child already has allergies, talk to your pediatrician before visiting such places during summer and chose the location wisely to avoid an allergic situation.
Swimmer’s Ear –For those who are hearing this for the first time, swimmer’s ear is a common infection affecting the external portion of the ear and presents with ear ache, discharge, itching and can also make the ear swell. Contaminated water pools and poor hygiene feeds in bacteria; which makes your child prone to this condition after swimming activities. Make sure your kids keep their ears clean after they are done playing and apply ear drops in order to prevent ear infections. See your pediatrician if you suspect an ear infection.
Hand, Foot, Mouth, Disease – Another common viral illness in summer which is highly contagious especially in play school kids and children at day care centers. These are small skin sores or blisters which appear on lips and mouth, legs, hands and sometimes buttocks of children who come in contact while playing and sharing toys etc. Due to its contagious nature, it is known to spread quickly and cause a panic alarm among parents. This can also mimic chicken pox due to its similar rash appearance. Being a viral infection, it usually subsides within a week and is rarely a threat. Maintain good hygienic practices and let your child play indoors staying home instead if u notice onset of this illness. Inform teachers in play group about the same.
Urinary Tract Infections – Summer means water games and swimming time for every child! Spending most of the day in water playing and splashing can be extremely refreshing and fun yet can welcome a few illnesses like urinary infections. Such places can get a lot crowded during summer which can lead to easy transmission of bacteria making your child more susceptible. Clean your child completely and thoroughly after the water pool activities with a good disinfectant soap. Always carry change of clothes while playing outdoors with your kids.
Summer diarrhea – Diarrhea or loose stools during summer is very often seen in infants and toddlers. Children when outdoors tend to indulge in outside food which may be contaminated by bacteria that are known to infect your child’s gut. Poor hygiene is also an added partner in crime for children to get down with potty troubles which can ruin your family holiday completely. Prevent this potty mishap by preparing a picnic basket instead with home cooked meals, fruits and snacks. This helps your child eat safely and also is pocket friendly.