Common Summer Ailments Kids suffer with… and How to Prevent Them!

Just like cold and flu are extremely common in winter, summer has its own health woes. Here are five infections and illnesses to watch out for this season, and what to do about them!

Food poisoning 
This is a very common infection among kids, and summers only make it worse. Store-bought cut fruits, sharing meals in the summer camp, and eating without first washing hands can all lead to a stomach infection, and eventually food poisoning. This is because bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, like picnics and cookouts. 

Vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, with a fever in some cases. 

How to prevent it?
Kids touch and put everything in their mouths. So make sure to keep their nails trimmed and clean. Also, make sure your child washes his/her hands properly before every meal. Lastly, cooking foods to their proper temperature, and promptly refrigerating leftovers are also critical in summer.

If you thought eczema was limited to winters, guess again. While the warm sun can definitely give solace to the skin, too much chlorine or sun exposure can cause the skin to dry out, triggering irritation. In addition, sweat is known to worsen the situation. 

The skin looks dry, thickened, scaly, or might have some tiny red bumps that ooze or become infected if scratched. Check for these, especially on the arms, legs and chest.

How to prevent it?
Make sure to use a hypoallergenic sunscreen lotion and a good moisturizer on your children’s skin every day. Dress them in cool clothes so that their skin can breathe, reducing irritation.

Heat rash
The harsh summer heat can damage your children’s skin, leaving red or pink patches on their shoulders, head, and neck. It occurs when the sweat ducts become blocked and swell, resulting in itching and discomfort. 

How to prevent it?
Dressing your kid in light, summer-friendly clothing is best way to battle rashes.

Swimmer’s ear
Swimming is one activity nearly every kid enjoys, especially during summer. However, when water gets trapped in the ear, it leads to bacterial growth, and eventually an infection. As the name suggests, kids are most likely to contract this infection after swimming in the pool or sea. 

Ears feel itchy, painful and, in some cases, the condition is also accompanied by fever.

How to prevent it?
Swimmer’s ear can be avoided by wearing earplugs while in the water.

Contrary to what many people think, nosebleeds are caused by dry air and not actual heat. A dry climate, indoor heating or air-conditioned rooms can irritate the nose lining and eventually dry it up. This can then cause itching, which might lead to bleeding when scratched or picked. Common colds also can irritate the lining of the nose, since kids blow their noses frequently. This also leads to nosebleeds. If your child is having a nosebleed, do not panic. Make him\her sit upright and tilt his/her head backward. Now pinch the soft part of the nostril area to stop the flow of blood.

How to prevent it?
The best way to prevent nosebleeds is by keeping the nostril area moisturised. You could use petroleum jelly, ghee or coconut oil. Just dab a little inside the nostril and outside the rims, using an ear bud. Make sure your child does not pick his/her nose. 

So keep a watch on your child’s health this summer, and make the most of this spectacular season!         ---Vaishnavi