School Children Should Take Utmost Precautions During COVID-19 And Monsoon: Warn Doctors

Covid-19 pandemic and monsoon can be harsh on children. Covid and monsoon can make children susceptible to various health problems like stomach, respiratory, and skin. Now that the schools have reopened, parents should ensure that the children are safe and take care of themselves.

Two years ago, students had their world turned upside down as schools closed their doors due to the Covid pandemic. A nationwide lockdown was announced and children had to attend online classes and exams to keep Covid at bay. Now, the schools have reopened and since monsoon is also approaching, it will be essential for each and every child to adhere to the Covid protocol and stay vigilant during monsoon.

Dr Sanjay Nagarkar, General Physician, Apollo Spectra Pune said, “The Covid curve still refuses to flatten in the country. Currently, Covid cases are rising at a rapid rate in India. To top it all, now, the schools will be reopening in June. So, school-going children need to maintain a safe distance from each other. Avoid hugs or handshakes or sharing of books or any items. Children should wear masks, carry hand sanitizers, and avoid going to school if they are sick or if anyone at the home is sick. Parents need to disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home like furniture, door knobs, handles, faucets, and kitchen countertops. Children should carry healthy snacks at school, and take vaccination if they are eligible for them. Influenza vaccine and other routine childhood and adolescent vaccines should be scheduled by the parents. If a child has symptoms like cough and fever at school, they should be picked up right away so that he/she can isolate. It is important that children not attend in-person school when they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19.”

“Now, monsoon and Covid together can lead to a plethora of health problems. The humid weather and mild temperatures make it an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive causing itchiness, redness, and rash. Since children will start going to school, they will have to be watchful of these red flags. The weather change during monsoon can lead to respiratory infections in children like cough, cold, pneumonia, or asthma flare-up. Even digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramping, food poisoning, acidity, heartburn, indigestion, and gastroenteritis are commonly seen in children. Dengue, malaria, leptospirosis, and chikungunya are rampant during monsoon,” said Dr Vrushali Bichkar, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Mothehood Hospital, Lullanagar Pune.

Dr Bichkar Added, “Children should carry boiled water in the bottle at school. Avoid eating junk, spicy, oily, and processed food. Do not eat roadside cut fruits or chaat items that can cause food poisoning or diarrhea. Children should use mosquito repellents, and avoid wading through rainwater or drenching in the rain that can make them fall sick. Carry an umbrella or a raincoat without fail. Always make sure that the raincoats and gumboots are clean and dry. Do not eat food that is kept for too long, avoid touching electric items at school with wet hands. Spicy foods are tempting during the rainy season. But, we should control our taste buds and avoid eating too much of it since it can lead to skin allergies and irritation. Eye infections like a stye, dry eyes, etc are very common. So, parents need to consult the doctor, children should take showers twice a day. Nails should be well-trimmed so that there is no space for the bacteria to accumulate. Children should not go to school if they are unwell or anyone in the family is sick.”

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