The earthy smell arising from the ground, lush green environs, cloudy skies, cool breeze, and a cosy rainy day with lovely mouth-watering snacks and indoor games is all that we look forward to after a long spell of dry and hot summer. However, with all these goodies, the monsoon comes with its own set of perils lurking around. One of the biggest being if you notice dengue symptoms in your child!
The sudden seasonal changes, the humid atmosphere clubbed with water-logging due to incessant rain and inadequate sunlight create a perfect breeding place for mosquitoes and deadly viruses. Moreover, the constant variation in the weather makes us even more susceptible to all these monsoon maladies.
There is a whole array of mosquito-borne diseases that children can fall victim to if proper precaution is not taken. Among them, the most prevalent ailments are Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis and Zika.
Mosquito-borne diseases, sometimes also referred to as vector-borne diseases, get transmitted through mosquito bites and can be averted to a large extent. Most common amongst these is Dengue fever and alarmingly, there has been an upsurge in the number of cases of this disease recently.
Dengue symptoms in kids:
As compared to adults, children are more prone to it, owing to their underdeveloped immune system. Hence, with kids, it is doubly important to take the necessary precautions and preventive steps. Some of the dengue symptoms in kids look like this:
- High fever, possibly as high as 105°F that is recurring and medication is only effective for a less than 2 hours
- Pain behind the eyes and in the joints, muscles and/or bones (not always an indicator)
- Severe headache and nausea
- Rash over any part of the body, e.g. back or chest that looks like a sensitive skin rash. It usually appears a week from when the mosquito bites
- Mild bleeding from the nose or gums
What is the blood test for Dengue:
If any of the above Dengue symptoms in your child appear during monsoon months, please don’t panic, just be sure to stop medicating the child with Ibuprofen. Any pain relievers including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can increase the risk of dengue fever bleeding complications.
To detect the presence of the dengue virus in the blood, you need to undergo definitive dengue test name being non-structural protein 1 (NS1) test, Immunoglobulin G/ Immunoglobulin M test or a real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
CBC (Complete Blood Count) test is useful early in the course of illness. It is not susceptible to the cross-reactivity with other flaviviruses seen with serologic testing. But in the course of illness, it helps detect the platelet count in human’s (normal platelet count ranges from 1.5 to 4 lakh). In dengue, platelet count can drastically fall below 1.5 lakh. The test needs to be repeated once CBC and RT-PCR Dengue blood test have confirmed Dengue positivity in your child. Ideally and with time, the platelectcount bounces back to normal.
Your child complains of itching in Dengue:
One of the recovery symptoms in Dengue are the red rashes/patches. These are often confused with a danger sign, but most practitioners now see it as one of the recovery signs especially if the third blood test for Dengue is not alarming. Sometimes dengue rashes can be itchy and this may make your child more uncomfortable and irritable during the fever. If he/she has itchy rashes, you may also notice swelling in their palms or soles. According to credible sources, cutaneous manifestations provide an important clue to severity of Dengue symptoms in child. In patients with dengue fever, those with skin rash tend to have itching and swelling of the palms/soles, however, those without skin rash tend to have more complications and poor disease outcomes.
How to prevent the dengue?
While the range of severity of a particular disease may vary, there are precautions in Dengue and measures that one can take to safeguard against falling prey to these diseases. After all, a wise man once said, prevention is always better than cure!
The most important thing to keep in mind during monsoon months is to take precautions in Dengue. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so the basic tip is to empty, cover or treat any items that hold water, such as coolers, buckets, and water tanks. Remove unused tires and containers that may hold water in places that are hard to see, such as under bushes and flower pots. Always close doors and windows before evening to bar the entry of mosquitoes. Children should wear full sleeves clothes so that they are fully covered. Use strong mosquito repellents like Good knight Activ+, which even comes with a 2x power mode, for indoor protection and use them even during daytime as dengue spreading mosquitoes bite in the daytime. Therefore it becomes very important that while you or your kids are stepping outside you have to use a personal mosquito repellent like Good knight Fabric Roll-On, just apply 4 dots on your clothes and you are good to go.
Diet in Dengue:
1. Papaya leaves
In Dengue, platelet count drops drastically, and papaya leaves can help in bringing that back to normal. They can be consumed in the form of juice. Interestingly, they also help in boosting immunity. These days, there are capsules available too
2. Coconut water
Coconut water is a powerhouse of essential minerals and salts. It maintains the electrolyte level of the body, and prevents dehydration
3. Fruit juice
Fresh fruit juices are quickly absorbed by our bodies. One of the biggest after-impacts of Dengue is weakness. Fruit juices, especially citrus fruits, are the best source of vitamins. They are loaded with vitamin C, which is known for its immunity-boosting properties. Just ensure that you squeeze fresh juice at home.
<p style=”text-align: center;”>When to introduce fresh juice to your child? Click here to find out!
It is also very important to know the symptoms of Chikungunya and dengue fever so that they don’t remain undiagnosed. Most of these diseases have fairly the same symptoms like fever, skin rashes, joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting and red eyes. The core treatment of these diseases is also pretty much the same – rest, intake of fluids in plenty and avoiding medicines like aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
On a parting note, let your child enjoy the monsoons, but practice a little bit of caution. It will save you from a lot of agony and anxiety later.
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