Monsoons are one of the most exciting times of the year where kids especially enjoy playing in the rain but it unfortunately puts them at risk to episodes of flu and infections and with heat and humidity, it is the perfect environment for viruses, bacteria and moulds to multiply. Catching raindrops on the tongue, jumping over puddles, the adventure of wading in knee-deep water and a few extra school holidays are small pleasures when the academic year begins with the onset of the monsoon.
However, many unhealthy and unwanted visitors do gate-crash through your children in the monsoon and many major and minor illnesses cause fever at this time. These monsoon-borne infections are infamously known as the Monsoon Maladies where fever and the illness of your child causes anxiety hence, you must know the sign and symptoms.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sports Nutritionist Mihira AR Khopkar, suggested a few key tips to ensure your kids are healthy this monsoon:
1. Focus on good hygiene and cleaning habits. Encourage them to wash their hands regularly and shower after play time.
2. Drink boiled water as much as possible
3. Avoid outside food especially the ones on the streets
4. Enjoy street food made at home. Home-made bhajjiyas are as tasty as road side shops
5. Eat an array of fruits and veggies, but make sure you clean them well before consumption
6. Eat food items that are preferably cooked over raw
7. Immunity building diet is the one that is high protein in nature
8. Vitamin C and vitamin E rich foods such as amla, oranges, capsicum, drumsticks and variety of nuts and seeds, respectively are important to fight against infections as well.
9. Vitamin A rich-foods especially those found in colourful fruits and veggies, egg yolk etc are good for immunity.
Adding to the list of tips, Dr Puja Kapoor, Paediatric Neurologist and Co-Founder of Continua Kids, recommended:
1. Eat healthy and light food – Heavy, oily food can cause indigestion so healthy and light food is required. Make sure to eat home made fresh healthy food.
2. Wash your hands regularly – This season brings a lot of hygiene issues due to heat and humidity, make sure to wash your hands regularly. Also, dry your hands with clean cloth, or tissue. As this season is thriving season for all types of organisms, try to maintain hygiene by regular washing and cleaning.
3. Wash your food properly – Again, take care of the food you are eating, as during this season food gets rotten easily. Eating rotten food causes a lot of stomach upset.
4. Make sure to drink clean water – Carry your own water bottle as much as possible, as drinking water from any unhygienic source could bring in a lot of problems.
5. Eat fresh food, vegetables, probiotic in plenty – Our gut requires good bacteria to multiply, so good number of probiotics is necessary in diet. Curd is rich in prebiotic, try to use it regularly in your diet.
6. Remove stagnant water anywhere around – As stagnant water is the breeding ground for multiplication of mosquitoes, make sure to remove the water around, in jars, vases, water cooler etc to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
7. Iron your clothes – Make sure to iron your clothes if there are consecutive wet days. There are chances of mould growing in wet clothes, so ironing them would help them would get rid of the concerns.
8. Avoid junk food – Eating junk food can cause indigestion and stomach upset. Make sure to eat light, fresh and healthy food to avoid any stomach issues.
Bringing his expertise to the same, Dr Soonu Udani, Medical Director at SSRC Children Hospital, listed tips to prevent monsoon infections in kids:
1. Keep your children’s clothes and shoes clean and dry as it helps avoid skin infections.
2. Parents should ensure that their child’s nails are clipped short to prevent the accumulation of germs and dirt.
3. Keep your child indoors during the first rain of the season. This rain can be acidic and could cause skin ailments.
4. Do not let children play in dirty water
5. Protect your child from mosquitoes – Make sure there is no stagnant water either in your house or around your house as it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes (which cause diseases like Malaria and Dengue), parasites, and anaerobic bacteria.
6. Go for green and fresh – Ensure your child follows a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, greens, pulses, etc. Avoid junk food and oily food. It is important to wash fruits and vegetables with water to remove germs.
7. Go for hot beverages – Drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day keeps your child hydrated to fight problems like a throat infection. Warm milk or warm beverages like soup to help soothe sore throats.
8. Follow basic hygiene – Washing hands properly and regularly can keep common viral infections at bay from your child. Help your kid to develop the habit of washing hands as soon as they are done with playing or before and after meals.