9 Tips to Prevent Illness in Children During Monsoon Season

Come monsoon and the days of sniffles and coughs and chills are here. And in a normal family, it is the children who get affected quickly. The reasons could be:

· The immune system of children is not fully developed, so they could be easily affected by one disease after the other

· Children come in contact with hundreds of other children in their school and transportation facilities, thereby increasing their chances of getting sick

· Children might rub their eyes and nose, eat food without properly washing their hands, and come into direct contact with germs

Here are 9 sure ways in which you can protect your children

Immunization

You must have heard of the adage — “Prevention is better than cure”. Immunize your child with all the right vaccinations at the specified time right from when he is a baby. Find out the vaccination schedules of your child and get them done right now.

For example, you can administer the vaccination for the following diseases -Influenza, MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella), Varicella, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Rabies and Typhoid.

A fact to consider: Children from 6 months to 8 years might need two doses of the flu vaccine, spaced at least 6 months apart.

If School is in, then Let them Stay at Home Until they Become Well

If your child goes to school (and got the illness from there), then let them stay away from classes for a few days. At least in this way, they will not spread the diseases to other kids as well. In the same way, teach them to keep away from children who come to school despite being ill.

Encourage them to Wash their Hands and Feet Whenever they Come Home from Playing Outside

Ensure your child remains germ-free when he comes home. Get him to wash the hands regularly and frequently to help prevent the germs and viruses from spreading. In case, you are not able to ensure the safety of your child, you can carry alcohol-based hand sanitizers like gels or wipes. Such a sanitizer has the capability to kill germs 60% of the time.

A Fact to consider: It was IgnazSimmelweis, a young Hungarian doctor who discovered the importance of washing hands in 1850. He urged other doctors to wash their hands before they delivered babies.

Disinfect Surfaces of Whatever Objects You Touch Frequently

When someone in your home has a cold or the flu, then you need to disinfect the common objects everyone uses. This is because when the sick person sneezes, he might spread large droplets containing the virus to a distance of about 6 feet and sometimes even more than that. These droplets linger in the air for sometime and then settle on different things.

A fact to consider: A single droplet contains millions of viruses and just a single virus is enough to spread the disease.

When You Happen to Visit a Home with Young Children

Suppose you happen to visit a home where you have young children that happen to have a cold or the flu, then instruct your children not to touch their toys. These toys are serious carriers of viruses.

Teach the Process of Washing Hands

Wash, rinse, soap, rinse and dry. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention say that handwashing is “the do-it-yourself vaccine”. Using the regular soap would be sufficient, but in order to make it exciting for the child, you can get a handwash pump shaped like an animal or a cartoon character.

Teach him the difference between the cold water and hot water taps in the sink, so he can wash on his own. Show him how to work up the suds for 20–30 seconds before washing it off. He must wash his hands after using the toilet as well.

Don’t Let him Stray his Hands to his Face

If your child has the habit of putting his hands in his nose and mouth, then make sure his hands are not dirty and slowly wean him away from that habit. Teach him not to stray his hands to his face unnecessarily. Children are habitual nose divers, so it won’t be easy at first.

Teach him the Importance of Post-Potty Wiping

Bad hygiene after potty can spread a lot of diseases. You may teach your child how to wipe him/herself after the potty, so he is clean and dry. Very young children will need help with this, and be with them until they are 6 or 7, and even then you must be with them monitoring their solo potty wiping activities for 2 weeks, until you are sure they are doing it right.

Teach Your Child to Cover their Nose and Mouth

You may pull your hair out trying to teach your child to close his mouth and nose when he coughs or sneezes, but be patient. Let him use tissues to do this so he can discard them after use.

In Closing

The common childhood sicknesses are vomiting, diarrhea, cold, flu, cough and sore throat. Following the tips above would help you restrict the occurrence and spread of diseases in the family and neighborhood.

And follow the process observed by your child’s day care or school in preventing illnesses from spreading to children. Find out what they do in case of an outbreak. Finally, follow public health advice as they contain information on how to prevent and spread the risk of infections.

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