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The monsoon season is finally here, and along with all the beautiful experiences and memories, arrive the perils of this weather. Conditions like viral infections, mosquito-borne diseases, food and water borne diseases, fungal infections and allergies become more prevalent during monsoons and can take away from the joy of the season.
It is important for every individual to take special care of themselves during this season. What’s more, it is imperative for new parents to be worried about their babies who cannot always express their needs and ailments. Small babies whose immune system is still developing are especially prone to illnesses during this weather.
Here are some tips for parents to take care of their infants during monsoon:
1. Clothing: The temperature fluctuations and sudden temperature drops can adversely affect little children, as their circulatory system is not fully adapted to maintain body temperature. Keep the baby covered in thick cotton clothes and ensure that the clothes are fully dried in the sun or are ironed before use. A child needs a single sheet extra than an adult to maintain their body temperature in the same weather.
2. Room temperature: There can be temperature fluctuations during monsoons with high temperatures during the day and slightly cold nights. Keep the baby slightly warm and the room temperature should be maintained at a neutral of 24-27 degree centigrade
3. Keep your hands clean and especially after coming home from outside, wash hands before touching the baby.
4. Keep the baby clean. Wipe her regularly to remove the sweat and disease-causing microorganisms from the skin. Areas such as armpits, groin and neck may harbour moisture more than the rest of the body, and need special attention. Bathe the baby 3-4 times a week with warm water using a mild and gentle antiseptic soap.
5. Diaper care: Change the diaper more frequently than during other seasons. Give your baby frequent diaper breaks and let the area be exposed to air. Inspect the nappy area regularly for early signs of a rash. If there is a rash, talk to your pediatrician and apply the prescribed ointment with care.
5. Keep the house clean and dry. Any dampness, leaking pipes, dripping from roofs/walls should be immediately fixed and the baby should not be exposed to such an environment.
6. Keep the house mosquito-free, any breeding areas of mosquitoes near the house should be taken care of. Use a natural mosquito repellent to keep mosquitoes away from the child. Dress up the child in full-sleeved clothing and inspect for mosquito bites on the skin.
7. If the baby is being breastfed, make it more frequent. Along with hydration, it provides antibodies and probiotics to the child. For a slightly older infant, give her freshly prepared, light and seasonal food. Clean the feeding bottles thoroughly in warm water and prepare fresh formula food, every time you feed the child.
8. Use a clean source of water and ensure that drinking water is not contaminated through leaky pipes, seepage etc.
9. Look out for early signs of a viral infection, like fever, sneezing, runny nose, rash or a dull disposition. Immediately visit a pediatrician if any of these are observed.
10. Keep the vaccination status of the baby up to date for age and consult your pediatrician to receive a flu shot, if appropriate. Vaccination against typhoid and Hepatitis A are also useful during this time.
1. Avoid crowded and closed places, which can expose you or the baby to disease- causing germs.
2. Do not stay outdoors at or after dusk, as this is a time when mosquitoes are most active. Use full-sleeved clothes and a natural mosquito repellent to keep the baby safe from mosquitoes. Avoid visiting spaces, which have water collection or seepage as it may expose them to mosquitoes and fungi.
3. Carry food and clean drinking water from home, whenever you move out. You cannot be sure of the safety of outside food and water.
4. Protect the baby from getting wet as much as possible. If she still gets wet, give a warm bath and completely dry her as soon as you are back home.
Including all these tips in your baby care regimen can make the first monsoon with your baby memorable.
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