Dr. Sayed Mujahid Husain, Pediatrician with Apollo Medical Center, Bangalore, India, speaks about the threat of dengue fever infecting children. He has explained the steps that can protect your child against dengue fever and its complications.
Most of the parents worry about their child being infected with dengue fever. The monsoon adds on to the fear. Sometimes, it might create unnecessary panic amongst the parents. To keep your kids safe from dengue, we should understand dengue fever in detail.
Dengue is a virus, which causes the dengue fever. It is transmitted when the Aedes mosquito bites a person having dengue virus in their blood, followed by biting a healthy individual. It cannot directly spread from one person to another, and the mosquito acts as a carrier of the dengue virus. Contrary to the other mosquitoes which bite during the night, these mosquitoes bite during the daytime.
Keep a check on the source of these mosquitoes.
Always keep a check on all the possible places of breeding. The mosquitos’ breed in the stagnant water that gets accumulated in flowerpots, tyres, cans, pets water dishes, etc. Change the water regularly in the pets’ dishes, birdbaths, etc. Discard any accumulated water in and around your house.
Young children might experience milder cases of dengue fever. It usually becomes noticeable 3-4 days after being infected and may last up to 10 days.
Symptoms are similar to a viral infection. These may include:
- Joint and muscles pain
- Nausea, loss of appetite with or without vomiting
- Skin rashes
- Redness of the eye
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Severe headaches
- Abdominal pain
In case, if a child gets diagnosed with dengue fever most of the parents panic, thinking hospitalisation is inevitable. This is not true as 90-95 % of the dengue fever resolves on its own. Your paediatrician will prescribe supportive medications such as oral hydration, basic painkillers, and complete bed rest. Very few cases require hospitalisation and close monitoring. A decline in the blood platelets count beyond a certain level, calls for hospitalisation. Your doctor is the best person to decide whether hospitalisation is necessary or not.
It is always advisable to take preventive measures to be safe against dengue fever. Ensure that your child is wearing full sleeves and is properly clothed while playing outside. Use mosquito repellents and put a door and window screens to prevent the mosquitoes from entering your house. If your child shows any of the above-mentioned symptoms, seek a medical consultation immediately.
Remember, ‘better be safe than sorry’!!