Taking care of children during the monsoon can be a dicey business. Babies, toddlers and young kids usually love the rain, however, the monsoons can bring with it a whole lot of disease and discomfort too.
In order to get through the season without incident, it’s important that certain precautionary measures are taken. Though by and large prepared, most parents may still have a few queries on how to keep their offspring fully protected in the rainy months. Here, we answer the common questions parents should know about in order to properly care for kids when the skies open.
How can I ensure hygiene standards from family members and friends?
Tell family members who live with you or friends who visit, to avoid close contact with your child if they’re ill with a contagious disease such as a cold, cough or any other type of respiratory infection. Ask visitors to wash their hands and use sanitizer before carrying or playing with your baby and request them to refrain from kissing them on the face, hands or feet.
How can I protect my child against mosquitos?
Mosquitos spread harmful diseases such as dengue and malaria, which can be especially problematic and serious for young children. Drain and clean any stagnant water from around your home to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your living areas. Use mosquito nets over your child’s cot or bed and apply mosquito repellant, especially during the time of sunset and in the evenings. If heading outdoors, dress your child in breathable fabric that is long-sleeved and full pants to limit the amount of skin exposed to the elements and mosquitos.
Is it OK to eat food from restaurants or order in for my child’s meals?
It’s advisable to avoid outside food during the rainy season as hygiene standards cannot be guaranteed. There are many food-borne and water-borne diseases that can be passed on due to improper preparation and lack of cleanliness in kitchens, including diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid. To ensure that your baby is protected from these diseases, carry home-prepared meals for them when heading out, milk if necessary and bottled filtered water.
What clothes should my child wear in the monsoons?
Stick to breathable, light fabrics such as cotton as far as material is concerned. You’ll want to carry a few layers and maybe even a change of clothes when heading out in case your baby gets wet in the rain. A warm hat, jacket and blanket are useful for when temperatures drop after heavy showers. Long sleeve tops and full-length pants with socks and/or shoes are also useful to protect against mosquito or other insect bites. Also remember to carry nappies when going out, to be able to change your baby regularly as a wet nappy can give your little one a chill if the weather is cold.
Do vaccines help?
Yes, vaccines are a preventive form of protection against a host of diseases. This is an inexpensive and highly-effective way to make sure that your child does not contract illnesses such as Hepatitis A and influenza. Check with your doctor about whether your child’s immunization is on track and what vaccines he or she needs in order to be protected during the rains.
What food and drink is good for children during the monsoon season?
Keep your child’s gut healthy and food intake nutritious to help their immune system fight off germs and infection. Make sure they eat a good amount of fruit and vegetables that have been thoroughly washed and cleaned at home. Foods that contain Vitamin C are helpful to fight off colds. Milk and protein-rich foods are also good to keep their strength up. Warm foods such as lukewarm milk and soups are good ways of getting nutrition to a child with a low appetite due to illness. Give your child only filtered water and avoid ice or icy beverages. Make sure drinking water is covered and stored in clean vessels or bottles that are easily accessible to avoid dehydration.