How to keep children healthy in rainy season —Expert


Oluwatobiloba Jaiyeola

A Public Health physician at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Tanimola Akande, has urged parents to do more to ensure they maintain a hygienic environment that prevents mosquitoes from breeding during the rainy season

He noted that preventing mosquitoes from breeding in stagnant water in the environment is crucial to protecting children from malaria infection in the rainy season.

The expert also asked parents to pay better attention to preventing food and waterborne infections, stressing that they are often more common in the season and can cause serious health conditions.

According to the physician, children are usually more prone to common illnesses than adults during the rainy season because of their lower immunity to infections.

Prof. Akande stated that kids are likely to experience illnesses such as diarrhoea diseases, cholera, respiratory tract infection, and malaria, noting that the risk of children coming down with these infections is particularly in Africa.

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Prof. Akande explained that these diseases are triggered by the type of water available to people for use, which is often polluted by human faeces that are washed into streams and rivers by rainfall.

He said, “Those due to vector-borne diseases like malaria is due to high breeding of mosquitoes in drainage, ponds and other receptacles like waste tyres, bottles, and bushy environment.

“Flies also breed more during the rainy season due to the unhygienic environment. 

“The cold weather during the rainy season also promotes increased cases of respiratory tract infections.

“That is why parents are to ensure that their children are protected from mosquitoes by making them sleep under long-acting insecticide-treated nets, ensure that their children receive routine immunisation, and keep a hygienic environment.

“Also, water to be used for the children need to be well treated, particularly by boiling the water to be used in preparing their food. Food should not be exposed to flies,” the public expert said.

When asked about first aid measures to be taken by parents when children come down with infections during the rainy period, Prof. Akande said it depends on the type of illness the child is experiencing. 

He, however, urged mothers to ensure they report early to the hospital for early diagnosis and treatment.

“Children with diarrhoea diseases should be given oral rehydration salt as early as possible and then report early to health facilities. Mothers are often taught how to prepare ORS.

“Those with malaria need to give the child paracetamol and do tepid sponging for the child. Parents are also encouraged to report early to a health facility where confirmation of malaria is done and appropriate drugs are given,” he said.

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