Managing Cough and Cold in Children During Summer

Dr Srimukhi Anumolu, Consultant pediatrician and Neonatologist.

Managing cough and cold in children during summer can be challenging, even though they are commonly associated with colder months. As a medical practitioner, we understand the difficulties parents face in dealing with these ailments, especially when temperatures are soaring. Despite the misconception, summer coughs and colds are prevalent due to triggers such as allergies, indoor air conditioning, and exposure to outdoor pollutants. In India, it is estimated that during summer, approximately 30% of children are affected by coughs and colds. Fluctuations in temperature can weaken the immune system, making children more susceptible to viral infections. Recognising the symptoms is crucial for timely intervention. Common signs include a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and mild fever. To alleviate these symptoms, we recommend several management strategies. Encouraging ample fluid intake helps prevent dehydration and loosens mucus. Sufficient rest is also essential to bolster the immune system’s response to infection. Using a humidifier can
maintain optimal moisture levels in the air, easing nasal congestion. Saline nasal sprays or rinses help clear nasal passages, while steam inhalation sessions can alleviate congestion and ease breathing. Minimising exposure to smoke, dust, and other airborne irritants is also crucial. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and
minerals supports immune function, and consulting a paediatrician before administering any over-the-counter medications is advisable.

The Indian Academy of Paediatrics emphasises the significance of managing coughs and colds in children, particularly during summer. They stress the importance of preventive measures such as hand hygiene, allergen management, and regular exercise. Additionally, the Academy recommends staying updated on
recommended vaccinations to prevent vaccine-preventable respiratory illnesses.

At Ankura Hospital, the multidisciplinary team of paediatricians, pulmonologists, and allergists collaborates to provide comprehensive care. They prioritize patient education, empowering parents with the knowledge to effectively manage their child’s health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), respiratory infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children worldwide. Research published in the Journal of Pediatrics highlights the need for tailored management approaches for summer colds.

In conclusion, while summer coughs and colds present unique challenges, they can be effectively managed and prevented with the right strategies. Ankura Hospital remains committed to providing exceptional paediatric care, equipping parents with the tools and knowledge necessary to safeguard their children’s
health year-round.

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