How to prevent common infections among babies during monsoon?
Babies are prone to illness during monsoon
Monsoon provides respite from the heat of summer; however it brings with it a host of health issues. Most specially, newborns are greatly susceptible to infections that spread during the monsoon rains. For that matter, rains leave a trail of flooding, stagnated water, overflowing drains, herds of mosquitoes and water-borne diseases.
Common infections among babies during monsoon are caused by low immunity, mosquitoes and fungal diseases. Low immunity levels make the babies (0-12 months) greatly vulnerable to all kinds of diseases and skin infections. Stomach flu or gastroentitis is the one of the common infections seen in babies. Stomach flu may occur at least thrice a year, and last for 24 to 48 hours. It is caused by ‘Rotavirus’ or food poisoning bacteria. The breast fed babies are less likely to get infected than those formula fed babies. Fluids and medication will clear the stomach infection.
Nail infections in babies are majorly fungal infections. The skin around the nail may turn red and swollen. The nails become dry, brittle and rough. Fungal infections in babies are caused by high exposure to water, excessive sweating and by scratching the infected skin. Fungal infections usually grow in areas where moisture is trapped. Trimming the nails and using anti-fungal creams will be of help.
Prevention is always better than cure. By following simple tips, many of the common infections among babies during monsoon can be prevented.
- Bathing the baby: Bathing two to three times in a week keeps the baby clean and healthy. There is no need to give a bath every day, unless the baby is dirty and needs it. A good bath relaxes the body and provides sound sleep. The water used for bathing the baby should not be too hot or cold it should be lukewarm water only. Never bath if the baby’s skin is dry or has a rash.
- Oil massage for the baby: Oil massage is good for the baby. It helps to relax the muscles and sleep better. However, oil massage session should be followed by a bath which helps to wash the massage oil off the baby. The choice of oil depends on the baby’s skin sensitivity.
- Clothes for the baby: During monsoon the climate is too hot and humid. So, light cotton clothes and blankets which are cool and absorb the sweat are the ideal choice for babies. If the baby is sweating, it is better to remove a layer of clothing, followed by switching on the fan, cooler or AC.
- Safe food and water for the baby: As monsoon brings with it water-borne diseases, use filtered or boiled water only. You can boil the water for three minutes to make it safe. You can serve this cooled water to the baby. Mothers breast-feeding the baby mayn’t need to give additional water in hot and humid weather. Water should be given in-between feeds or meals to keep the baby hydrated. Check the quality of food before you serve it to the baby as humid weather spoils the food early.
- Protecting the baby from mosquito bites: By protecting your baby from mosquito bites, you are protecting him/her from fatal illnesses like dengue, malaria and chikungunya. To prevent mosquito bites, keep your home and surroundings clean, dress to protect, avoid strong fragrance, screen doors and windows, use mosquito nets and insect repellents.
Babies are very tender and easily affected by diseases. The health of your baby can be protected by maintaining cleanliness of food and water and personal hygiene. Emergency medications should be kept handy, and consulting a doctor/childrenÛªs specialist immediately would be of great help. The right kind of clothes protects the baby from weather changes and mosquitoes. Importantly, proper care and hygiene during the monsoon season can definitely help keep all kinds of infections and illnesses at bay.