Monsoon Preparedness for your Children and You: To-Dos
Ask any kid about their favourite season and pat comes the reply “Rainy season”. And why so? “Because we love to play in muddy puddles and get some unplanned holidays from school when it rains really heavy.” True that is. If you remember us adults also have a special love for the rains as they change the face of the earth with lush greenery smiling at us everywhere. However, the rainy season is also the season for diseases and that too which spread rapidly. To have an enjoyable monsoon season, one should plan and be ready to tackle the negatives that the season gets along.
Mentioned are things to take care of before and during monsoons so that your child enjoys a healthy and happy rainy season:
- Get your Vaccinations Sorted: Prevention is better than cure always. Diseases prevalent during the rains include flu, typhoid and Hepatitis A that can be prevented if children are vaccinated for the same. Before the rains, check with your medical practitioner and get the vaccines scheduled if not previously administered.
- Be Cautious of Water Contamination: With water pouring and stagnation, there are sure chances of contamination and if this contagious water is consumed, one may become a target to diseases like diarrhoea, viral fever etc. So, it’s recommended to use a water purifier for dispensing drinking and cooking water and not rely solely on tap water.
- Be wary of Insects: Monsoons bring along with them another M- Mosquitos. Mosquito bites lead to a simple rash or several serious ailments like malaria and dengue. With these diseases directly impacting the blood platelets, they leave the child pale and weak and sometimes they are life-threatening too. In addition to the lush greenery, stagnant water, especially in potted plants or old tyres stored at home, are chief reasons for mosquito breeding. One should ensure that no rainwater is lying stagnant for more than 24 hours as these can be places where mosquitoes may lay their eggs and spread deadly diseases on a big scale. Ensure that whenever your child goes out in the open especially during dawn and dusk, they always use a mosquito repellent. Available in the form of spray, gel, lotions, patches or roll-on, these repellents are a must-have during monsoons. Fixing nets in the windows and doors is a quick fix for preventing mosquitos from entering.
- Allergies Not Welcome: Rains are not good news for people suffering from allergies. With the dust settling down once it rains, children are prone to dust allergies whose severe forms can lead them to wheeze, bronchitis and asthma-related problems. The beddings, curtains and bedsheets are common places where the dust settles and it’s a good idea to wash these with hot water and sundry them once a week so that dust is kept at bay.
- A haven for Fungal Infections: The moist climate that is prevalent during monsoons supports easy growth of fungus. One has to teach kids to maintain complete hygiene like washing and cleaning their private parts after a loo trip, washing their hands and feet after coming from outside. In this season, cotton is not a rain friendly material as it takes time to dry and is left damp many times. During the rains, garments made of polyester, nylon or synthetic is preferred unless the child has an allergy to these materials as these can dry faster when wet and easily manageable. Avoid socks during rains as wet socks can lead to fungal infections in the toes. Make your child wear footwear that is rainproof like floaters that ensure that the child doesn’t slip while walking in the rain and also no wet mud or dirt splashes on their feet. Children should be warned against jumping in pools of stagnant water or stepping on dirty water as they may be infected and cause diseases like leptospirosis.
- More Thoughtful about Food: During rains, take extra care about eating habits as this is the season of easy food contamination. Along with mosquitos rains also bring along insects like house flies that are the main source of food contamination. As much as possible avoid eating outside food and discourage eating out to your kids too. Wash the fruits and vegetables especially green leafy vegetables nicely before consumption as they may be infected with worms or larva. It is recommended to consume freshly cooked food and avoid oily and heavy food.
- Check the Environment around You: Water is a good conductor of electricity and this paves the way for unfortunate incidents like electrocution and short circuit. Just before the rainy season check if wires are properly insulated and connected to the ground, electric boxes and poles are working properly and locked and not in reach of children and for electrical damages if any. Don’t leave any live wire unattended as this may be deadly. Also, these days during heavy rains there are incidents of trees falling. So, one has to be alert when going out and never allow children to play/walk below the trees during the rainy season as during these vulnerable times the roots are even more unsteady. Restrict kids from venturing into dark unmanned areas during heavy rains as they may not be aware of the presence of open gutters and manholes and might just slip into one which can prove to be fatal.
- Travel during rains: Finally, if you have travel plans during the rainy season always carry emergency and regular medicines for your kids, ORS solutions, a hand sanitizer, and safety gears for rain like windcheaters, raincoats and umbrellas. Even when you are out travelling take care to drink only safe drinking water.
This article has been contributed by Dr. Atish Laddad, Founder & Director, Docterz