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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Summer Illnesses in Children

<p>​<strong>Summer Illnesses in Children</strong></p><p>Summers can be fun for children on vacation but the season brings its own set of illnesses and diseases in children. For parents, it becomes important to exercise caution and employ the necessary precautions to keep their children safe and healthy during the extremeties of the season.</p><p><strong>Common Summer Illnesses</strong></p><p>According to Dr Arshalooz Rahman, Assistant Professor Paediatrics and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, “The most common summer illnesses found in children are Gastroenteritis and food poisoning which usually occur due to contaminated water and food,&quot; adding that this can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. </p><p>Similarly, heat stroke and heat exhaustion during hot temperatures are also common because of excessive sweating. A decrease in water intake can otherwise also lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. </p><p>Dr. Arshanooz adds, “During the monsoon season, we also see spikes in mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and dengue fever due to excessive outdoor exposure. Skin issues such as boils, pimples, heat rash and pink rash appearing on the head, neck, and shoulders are similarly also common.&quot;</p><p><strong>Symptoms </strong></p><p>Common symptoms for various summer-related illnesses include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, general weakness because of electrolyte imbalance, and skin infections.</p><p><strong>Preventing Summer Illnesses</strong></p><p>As they say, prevention is better than cure. Summer illness can be prevented by adopting safe and hygienic practices such as consuming clean drinking water and hygienic food. The use of electrolyte solutions like ORS in diarrhea and during heat waves is helpful. Seek immediate medical advice in case your child is suffering from high fever and skin infections.</p><p>Keep your child safe by following these simple precautionary steps:</p><ul><li>Using zinc supplementation for acute watery diarrhea</li><li>Installing mosquito netting on doors and windows, and wearing covered clothes after sunset to prevent bites</li><li>Consuming boiled or bottled water</li><li>Practicing proper hand washing, before and after eating </li><li>Consuming well-cooked, hygeinic food</li><li>Bathing daily to keep the skin clean</li><li>Wearing loose and lightweight cotton clothing </li><li>Avoiding being outdoors during peak heat timings, especially during the afternoons</li><li>Regularly disinfecting swimming pools to keep water safe, and have trained supervision available.</li></ul><p><strong>A Note on Accidental Injuries</strong></p><p>Another thing that is seen more in the summers is accidental injuries. With children being outdoor more, they tend to engage in more physical activities, which should be encouraged but which can also lead to accidental injuries. These can be avoided with proper supervision and by being thorough in general safety guidelines like wearing helmets while riding bicycles, knee pads when playing cricket, shin guards when playing football, etc. ​
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