Cold, flu, throat infection, viral fever, and several other diseases come hidden behind the cool breeze, delightful showers, and soothing smell of wet earth in the monsoons. Other than thinking of what shoes to wear during monsoon or how to dress in monsoon, more parents must also read on a child’s health safety. “How to avoid falling sick during monsoons and ways to boost my child’s immunity,” is the question I asked myself and others around.
And here’s what I learned (surprisingly).
Rainwater is not the culprit:
During the monsoons, the white blood cells weaken due to frequent temperature fluctuations, thus weakening our immunity. The rain and water lying around make it easy for mosquitoes to breed and increases the risk of mosquito-transmitted infections, such as malaria and dengue fever. Viral infections are also common. In addition, high humidity can contribute to numerous skin diseases and fungal infections. Chronic skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis tend to worsen during the monsoon season.
Tips for staying healthy during the monsoon:
1. Don’t forget to shower after getting wet
Always take a warm water shower, preferably with a medicated soap after you get wet in the rain. This will not only wash away the dirt and germs but also help in stabilizing your body temperature back to normal.
2. Avoid air conditioners
The sudden and drastic temperature variations in the rainy season – temperature reduces with rain, but sultry heat also raises the temperature. To counter this, sitting in AC environments for long hours, and then stepping out in the hot and humid outdoors – this makes us sick. So it makes sense to limit the time for which you expose yourself to air conditioners.
3. Choose home-cooked food
Monsoons are not the time to indulge in street food. Indigestion, diarrhea and food poisoning are quite common in the rainy season simply because pollution of water and raw vegetables is very common during the monsoon. You can easily fall ill from contaminants.
Food items cleaned and cooked at home are any day better than frozen, pre-cooked food from the market. Warm, freshly cooked food must be given preference over stale and possibly contaminated street food.
4. Avoid spicy food
Greasy and spicy food might not be suitable for everyone. It can hinder effective digestion. Oil-free food is a must. “Wheat and barley along with light lentil soup and freshly boiled water help boost immunity. They also enable the toxins of the body to get flushed out,” says Dr. Thomas.
5. Consume fresh fruits and vegetables
Raw fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that help boost immunity. Mosambi, apples, carrots, nimbu-pani (lemonade) are great sources of Vitamin C that not only makes our body fight bacteria but are also helpful in getting rid of cough and cold that are associated with the rainy season.
6. Use Insect repellent
Apply a strong insect repellent to keep mosquitoes away and prevent getting bitten. It’s also a good idea to take anti-malarial drugs, after consulting a doctor.
7. Maintain proper hygiene
Keep your skin clean by bathing twice a day. Humidity can cause a build-up of sweat and dirt, along with other toxins, on the surface of the skin. Avoid wearing tight clothing or clothing made out of synthetic fabric. Stick to pure cotton or linen. Use anti-fungal talc to prevent the accumulation of sweat and moisture in skin folds. If prone to fungal infections, use a medicated powder after consulting your physician.
Children’s skin is particularly vulnerable during the monsoon season. Impetigo is a contagious skin infection that causes red sores that can break open, ooze fluid, and develop a crust. The sores usually appear around the mount and nose. Scabies, from mites, is also common during the monsoon and produces itchy skin. It’s important to visit a dermatologist to get these conditions treated before they spread.
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