Rains have brought respite from the heat but the threat of dengue looms large. With dengue fever in children increasing across the country, here are some tips for parents to protect their kids.
By Team ParentCircle
Dengue, the deadly six-letter word every parent fears each time her child is down with fever, especially during the monsoons, is on the rise yet again across the country. This, especially in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi, which have witnessed a steady spurt in the number of dengue cases. With rains showing little signs of slowing down and many residents complaining of sewage mixing with rainwater, the number looks set to rise. Alarming, isn't it?
According to data from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) and National Health Profile 2018, there has been an alarming increase in dengue cases over the years. From less than 60,000 cases in 2009, cases increased to 188,401 in 2017.
While government bodies are doing their best to control the spread of dengue, what can we as individuals do to safeguard ourselves and protect our children from this life-threatening disease? Being aware of dengue fever symptoms in kids is one to begin with.
Here’s what you should know.
Dengue is one of the few deadliest mosquito-borne diseases, epidemic in India. Dengue is caused by the dengue virus and is spread by mosquitoes. The female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water, transmits the disease from one infected person to another. This mosquito species has earned the name tiger mosquitoes due to the stripes pattern on their abdomen. They live in warm, humid climatic conditions and prosper in stagnant water. This make the disease more common in monsoons.
The cause of dengue is not the female Aedes aegypti mosquito itself, rather it is the dengue virus in its bloodstream. It acts as a carrier when it bites a person affected with dengue fever and bites other individuals transferring the virus. Children, especially those with low immunity, are at a significant risk of dengue infection.
Paediatrician and Founder of The Pediatric Network, Dr Atish Laddad, describes the symptoms parents need to look for when they suspect their child to have dengue and suggests ways to prevent and treat the disease.
Usually, dengue does not show unique or loud symptoms. Conversely, younger children show severe symptoms. However, symptoms show up after 6 to 7 days of the infection and lasts for 3 to 10 days. Some of the symptoms of dengue in a child are:
In some cases, dengue can become more severe, which leads to Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and the Dengue Shock Syndrome. Some symptoms for these deadly diseases are:
Note: Refer your child to a medical practitioner on noticing any of these symptoms.
It is important to remember that there is no specific medicine or cure for dengue. But, there are some ways to help your child’s discomfort. The only solution is to treat the symptoms, which will focus on:
Related content: To know more about protecting your child from dengue, click here.
When your child does not respond to initial treatment and goes into shock or shows unstable vital signs, he needs immediate medical attention. Admit him to a hospital if he exhibits any of these symptoms:
Related video: To know more about managing the disease in children, click here.
When the warning signs are ignored and dengue treatment is not started quickly enough, your child’s condition may turn serious. This usually happens about 3 to 7 days from the onset of symptoms. Treatment comprises the following:
Here’s what you can do to ensure your child is protected from the deadly virus-carrying mosquito. Take a look at some tips to keep your child safe from dengue fever:
Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial factors in the recovery of the disease. Ensure you follow these preventive measures and spread the word in your community so that the young and old alike are safeguarded from this disease.
Dr SP Senthil Kumar is Consultant Paediatric, Neonatal and Cardiac Intensivist, Columbia Asia Hospitals, Bangalore
If you have watched wrestler Sushil Kumar winning medals at the Olympics or admired the bulked-up...
Do you want good health for your child? Meet 93-year-old Srinivas Deshpande of Hubballi, Karnatak...
Healthy, nutritious eating habits in children begin at home. Read on to find more about how to ma...