7 Effective Ways to Safeguard Your Child from Dengue During Monsoon Season
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 09, 2023
Monsoon season brings not only rain but also the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue. With stagnant water becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes, cases of dengue tend to surge during this time. It’s crucial to protect your child from the dengue virus, which affects millions of people worldwide, with children being particularly vulnerable. If you’re concerned about keeping your children safe from dengue, we understand your worries.
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The Symptoms of Dengue
Dengue fever is characterized by high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and fatigue. In some cases, it can progress to a more severe form known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, posing a life-threatening risk, especially for children. Thus, safeguarding children from this debilitating illness becomes paramount.
How to Keep Children Safe from Dengue
We spoke to Dr. Anamika Dubey, Senior Consultant at Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, to discover effective ways to protect your kids from dengue. Dr. Dubey emphasizes, “Dengue is a virus that spreads through mosquito bites, and children are particularly vulnerable to its severe effects. Therefore, taking the necessary precautions is essential.”
Here are 7 proven strategies to shield your children from dengue:
1. Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Areas
Aedes mosquitoes, the primary carriers of dengue, breed in stagnant water. To minimize the risk of mosquito breeding around your home, it’s crucial to identify and eliminate potential breeding sites. Dr. Dubey advises, “Regularly check your surroundings for any stagnant water sources, such as flower pots, buckets, and discarded tires, and clean them up immediately.” Additionally, keep gutters clean and properly drained to prevent water accumulation.
2. Utilize Insect Repellents
Applying mosquito repellents to exposed skin can significantly reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites. When choosing a repellent for your child, opt for those specifically formulated for children and follow the instructions provided. Common active ingredients include DEET, picaridin, citronella, and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Make sure to apply the repellent evenly and avoid the eyes, mouth, and hands.
3. Dress Appropriately
Encourage your child to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes, especially during peak mosquito activity times, such as early morning and late afternoon, particularly in the monsoon season. Light-colored clothing may also help deter mosquitoes. Although challenging in hot climates, choosing lightweight and loose-fitting garments can provide some protection while ensuring comfort.
4. Create a Mosquito-Free Environment
To create a barrier between your child and mosquitoes, keep windows and doors shut and use bed nets. These protective measures can significantly reduce the risk of mosquito bites, especially during sleep or resting periods. Moreover, use fans or air conditioning to maintain a cool indoor atmosphere because mosquito activity tends to decline in cooler weather.
5. Limit Outdoor Activities
It’s advisable to avoid outdoor activities, especially during the peak hours of mosquito breeding season, such as rainy weather. During this time, water accumulates in several areas, becoming common nesting grounds for mosquitoes that spread dengue. So, restrict your child’s outdoor activities during this period. If going out is essential, ensure they are sufficiently covered with clothing and insect repellent.
6. Educate Your Kids
Teaching your child about the dangers of dengue and the importance of preventive measures is crucial. Explain the significance of avoiding mosquito bites and how to identify potential breeding sites. Dr. Dubey suggests, “Encourage them to actively participate in mosquito control efforts, such as draining water containers or reminding family members to apply repellent.”
7. Seek Medical Attention
If your child develops dengue symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, or persistent vomiting, seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and appropriate medical care can help prevent the progression of dengue to a severe form. Follow the advice of healthcare professionals and provide your child with adequate rest, fluids, and medications as prescribed.
Protecting your child from dengue requires a multifaceted approach that combines preventive measures and awareness. By eliminating mosquito breeding sites, using repellents, dressing appropriately, creating a mosquito-free environment, educating your child, staying informed, and seeking medical attention when necessary, you can significantly reduce the risk of dengue transmission. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and prioritize your child’s health and well-being!