Ways to Protect your Child from Dengue Fever
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease, which can be found all over the world. According to Directorate of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), there were 67,000 cases of Dengue fever as of 13th October 2019 in India. Children are more susceptible to dengue. As a result, it becomes imperative to take steps to protect them from it. Read on to know how you can make sure that your child stays safe from the deadly disease.
How can Dengue affect your child?
Children tend to be more prone to diseases due to their developing immune systems. They contract all types of germs and viruses when they are out playing. The mosquitoes are most active during dusk and dawn; the same time children are out of the house. Get rid of stagnant water in and out of the house. Stagnant and clean water is a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes.
Dengue Symptoms in Kids
Generally, dengue symptoms in kids are not easily visible as they are similar to a normal fever. They also depend upon the severity of the disease. Symptoms can show up anywhere between 4 days to 2 weeks after being bitten by the Aedes mosquito.
Following are the signs that you should be looking out for:
- Flu-like symptoms that last for 2-7 days
- High fever with a temperature of 40°C / 104°F
- Severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, nausea/vomiting, swollen glands, joint pain, bone or muscle aches and rashes on the skin
- Severe symptoms like bleeding gums, vomiting blood, rapid breathing, and fatigue/restlessness
There is actually no specific treatment for dengue fever. However, there are various steps you can take to minimize the severity of Dengue fever.
- Dengue inflicts pain all around the body and causes severe dehydration
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can ease pain and reduce fever. Avoid pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium as they can increase bleeding complications.
- Patients with severe dengue fever are generally administered with IV fluids and electrolyte replacement.
Since there are no specific procedures of the dengue treatment, prevention is advisable. Children are more prone to Dengue fever due to their immune system. Here are a few measures that can keep your child safe from Dengue fever:
- Repellents: Mosquitoes need to be kept away from children when they are outside the house. Using repellents has proven to be very useful. Mosquito repellents that contain DEET(N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) are highly recommended. These repellents protect children for at least 10 hours after a single application. You can even apply the oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Hygiene in the house: Keep the house clutter-free and do not water to accumulate anywhere. If there’s water, disinfect it with liquids like Dettol Disinfectant Liquid. Disinfectants ensure that the areas do not turn into breeding spaces for Aedes mosquitoes. And if you really must store water, keep it in air-tight containers.
- Extra home protection: Use screens on doors and windows and also repair the damaged ones. Keep unscreened doors and windows shut.
- Personal hygiene: Ensure that your children wash their hands and feet regularly before eating, after coming home from outside and after using the washroom. Use Dettol Antibacterial Soap to keep your child’s hygiene at best.
- Have kids wear long sleeves and pants whenever they are out of the house. Long clothes will ensure lesser exposure for the mosquitoes.
- Limit the play-time for children, especially avoid letting them out during dusk and dawn, a time when the mosquitoes are most active.
- If your child has persistent fever for more than two days, it is advised to consult the doctor.
Children display little or no symptoms when it comes to dengue. Dengue symptoms can easily be confused with that of Malaria, leptospirosis and typhoid fever. A prolonged fever or body pain are the first symptoms of Dengue. Constant monitoring of the fever and keeping an eye out for varying symptoms may lead to the perfect diagnosis. Prevention and taking precautions would be better than opting for dengue treatment once the disease is diagnosed. By making a few lifestyle changes and being extra cautious, you can protect your children from the clutches of Dengue fever.