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How to safeguard your children from serious fever

Follow simple steps to keep your children safe from dengue, typhoid and viral fever

If your child has high temperature, seek help from a doctor immediately
If your child has high temperature, seek help from a doctor immediately (Pexels/Mart Production)

The ongoing rainy season is a time for parents to be careful as the inclement weather can ring in several infections and fever in kids. Fever is a common childhood illness, but at times, it can be a sign of something more serious, such as dengue, typhoid or viral fever. These diseases are caused by viruses or bacteria and can be spread through mosquito bites, contaminated food or water, or close contact with an infected person.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness that is common in tropical and subtropical regions. It is caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of dengue fever can vary from mild to severe and can include fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, rash, and vomiting. In extreme cases, dengue can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, a life-threatening condition.

Typhoid is a bacterial infection that is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. It is spread through contaminated food or water, or close contact with an infected person. The symptoms of typhoid can include fever, headache, fatigue, cough, constipation, and reddish spots on the skin. In severe cases, typhoid can lead to pneumonia, sepsis, and death.

Also read: How to prevent your kid from getting the ‘pink eye’

Viral fever
It is a common illness caused by a virus. It is characterised by fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, and sore throat. Viral fever is usually mild and goes away on its own within a week. However, in some cases, it can lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis.

Preventive measures for children from getting sick
There are several things that parents can do to prevent their children from contracting dengue, typhoid or viral fever.

  1. Get your children vaccinated: Vaccines are the best way to protect the child from serious diseases. Make sure children are up to date on all recommended vaccinations. 
  2. Teach your children good hand-washing habits: Teach your kids to wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, before and after eating food, and regularly throughout the day. This is important for preventing the spread of all kinds of germs.
  3. Encourage your children to eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep: Eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep helps keep children's immune systems strong. 
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick: When meeting with an ill person, keep your kids at a safe distance to prevent them from contracting germs. Likewise, if the child is sick, keep them at home to prevent spreading germs to others. 
  5. Mosquito-proof your home: To keep dengue away, ensure your home doesn't have places where mosquitoes can breed. As they lay eggs in water, remember to get rid of water stagnating in containers such as bowls, urulis, discarded tyres, flower pots and vases. Also, if you have pets, change the water in dog bowls, fish tanks and cat fountains at least once a week.

Fever is a common symptom of many childhood illnesses, but it can also be a sign of something more serious.  By following the preventive measures mentioned above, you can safeguard children from getting affected by dengue, typhoid or viral fever. And if they do end up with a fever, don't waste any time in seeking advice from a medical expert to determine the cause. Remember: early diagnosis and treatment are essential to keep your children safe and healthy. 

Dr. Shrishailesh Mantur is a neonatologist and pediatrician at Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital, Bengaluru. 

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