TEN WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE AND HEALTHY DURING THE MONSOON

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The monsoons are among the most eagerly awaited seasons, as they bring much needed respite from the searing heat of the summer. It’s the perfect time to sip on a hot brew coupled with some snacks, and watch the raindrops on their way. However, the monsoon also brings its fair share of hassles, the biggest bother being mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes breed in still water, and soon diseases like dengue, malaria and chikungunya begin to do the rounds. Also to be wary of are diseases like the flu, pneumonia and typhoid, which are communicable via air and water. And infants being the delicate creatures they are, stand at greater risk of contracting these diseases.

Pneumonia and typhoid are potentially deadly for children. So, if you have an infant at home, don’t kick back just yet. Prepare yourself, your home and your child against the worst of the monsoon. We’ve put together a list of 10 things you should do before and around the onset of the monsoons, to keep your infant safe and healthy.

  • 1. BABY HYGIENE:

    During the monsoons, the ambient humidity spikes up. Infants tend to sweat a lot due to this. Do not allow the sweat to accumulate. Keep wiping them at regular intervals with a clean cloth. Give them a bath at least once a day, with a mild antiseptic soap and lukewarm water.

    Keep your infant’s nails trimmed, so that the chances of it scratching itself and creating an infection are low.

    Also, be more vigilant when changing diapers. Soiled diapers can become havens for bacteria to develop and fester, thus causing infections or rashes.

    If you aren’t careful, your infant might catch a fungal infection or rash. When bathing your infant, check for signs of a rash behind the ears, in the armpits, neck and private regions.

  • 2. HOUSE HYGIENE :
  • Keep your house clean, especially the baby’s room. Check the roof and walls for any leakages. Ensure that the electrical wiring is in good condition. Make sure that there is no water accumulation anywhere as this serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Also check around the house, inside flowerpots and the like. Keep your plants trimmed and ensure there isn’t any waterlogging in the immediate vicinity.

    Also, ensure that waste, especially baby waste, comprising of diapers and disposable napkins is disposed in a proper manner. Waste should not be thrown randomly, as it then becomes a hub for flies, mosquitoes and vermin, vectors for several diseases.

  • 3. WHERE TO KEEP YOUR BABY :
  • Keep your baby away from the floor. In several Indian households, there is a tendency to let children crawl and play on the floor so as to let them develop their motor skills faster. But no, not during the rains you don’t. Even if you keep your floors clean, your child can still pick germs from off the floor. If you must, place a mat on the floor and let it do as it pleases.

    Also, do not keep your child alone near windows, whether open or closed. It might get wet from the rain spray or seeing lightning flashes might frighten it.

Baby Toys
Baby Toys
  • 4. CLEAN FOOD :
  • Do not have food from outside. Especially if the child is breastfeeding, try to eat healthy and fresh. If the child is formula fed, prepare the formula using boiled water. If the young one is able to consume solid foods, ensure that the food is cooked clean and fresh. Fruits should be washed before being given to the child.

    Keep food covered, so that flies don’t settle as well as fungi.

    Clean all the feeding utilities. Especially for bottles and pacifiers, try to ensure that mould doesn’t enter, as these are often used by your baby.

    Last, but not the least, clean both your hands as well as your baby’s, before and after feeding.

  • 5. WATER :
  • Use boiled and cooled water for your baby. Keep a sippy bottle filled with water for your child to use. Even though the baby might not be as thirsty as it would be in the summer due to the humidity, it is important to keep it hydrated.

  • 6. KEEP THE CHILD INDOORS :
  • For most, this comes across as obvious, but for the uninitiated, do not venture out with your infant, as the chances of them contracting an illness increase a lot. A lot of variables like temperature, hygiene and mosquitoes are out of your control outside the house. If you must go out with your child, try to avoid crowded places, as infections spread faster among throngs of people. And ensure it is kept warm and dry.

  • 7. CLOTHING :
  • During the monsoons, the weather is mostly cold, so it would be best to keep your child warm. But the weather can change a lot. So, dress your child in keeping with the weather. The easiest approach would be to use layered clothing. Have the child wear 2 layers of clothing

    The inner layer should be loose and comfy, for when the weather turns warm and the outer layer must be more suited for cold temperatures. If the weather is hot and humid, remove a layer. If it is cold, keep the layers, and add another layer if required. But the child must remain comfortable. Observe its reactions before adding/ removing clothes. Regulate the temperature in the house according to the weather outside.

    Also note that, during the monsoons, clothes take longer to dry than usual. So have an extra set or two of baby clothes. And iron every dress after drying, because in the monsoons, dresses do not dry up entirely and there will be some amount of latent moisture. Any amount of moisture in the clothes equals a risk of catching a cold for your infant. So always ensure that your infant’s clothes are warm and dry.

  • 8. MOSQUITOES :
  • Mosquitoes are a formidable predicament during the monsoons, all the more so with young infants around. Take all precautions against mosquitoes. Ensure that the possibility for water accumulation in your house and surroundings is absolutely nil. Make your child is fully covered, especially in the evenings.

    Also, buy a mosquito net for your child. If you wish to use repellents, only use natural repellents. Do not use chemicals of any sort for this. Talk to your doctor and decide if topical mosquito repelling creams can be used on the infant. If you don’t grudge the expense, do invest in wire mesh for your doors and windows- it’s a worthwhile investment.

  • 9. VACCINATION :
  • Before the monsoon sets in, you can get your baby vaccinated against diseases like the flu. But proceed only after consulting with a physician. This must be carried out in a manner synchronous with the vaccination schedule of the child.

  • 10. MEDICINES :
  • Keep a supply of medicines at hand for common illnesses like the cold and the flu. Again, decide on the dosage of these medicines in consultation with a physician.

    So there you have it, 10 ways to keep your child hale and hearty during the monsoon. But also note, parenting is a serious role. Do take care of yourself during the monsoon, cause if you fall ill, it becomes difficult to take care of your child. So, enjoy the monsoon, responsibly. What did you think of this article? Did you find it helpful? Let us know!

- Written By
Rahul Jose

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