How to prevent dengue fever from getting to your child

Dengue fever

Dengue fever is caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by ‘Ades’ mosquitoes. Dengue in infants and toddlers generally starts with the following symptoms:

☛Runny nose
☛Mild rashes on the skin
☛High temperature

In older kids and adults, the symptoms of dengue include:

☛High fever
☛Eye and joint aches
☛Backaches and headaches
☛Loss of appetite
☛Skin rash, which appears three to four days after the onset of fever
☛Bleeding nose and gums
☛Susceptible to easy bruising

Dengue makes a person pale and weak, and this weakness may continue for some time after the illness as well.

Diagnosing and treating dengue

If suspected, doctors can diagnose a dengue infection with a blood test to check for the virus or antibodies to it. There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection. Mild cases can be treated by giving lots of fluids to prevent dehydration and getting plenty of rest.

There is no vaccine to treat dengue hence prevention is the only key to safeguard your children. To minimize the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito, we suggest that you exercise the following precautions:
☞Keep your house clean, dry and hygienic
☞Dress your child in long-sleeved tops and full-length trousers for minimal skin exposure
☞Make your child wear light-colored clothes (dark colors attract mosquitoes)
☞Use a mosquito net while you sleep
☞Throw away wet garbage such as vegetable stalks, fruits peels etc., regularly
☞Clean out any flower pots and throw out dead plants

In addition to this we can also:

☞Apply a mosquito repellent, but not on babies’ delicate skin
☞Clean out any surfaces that have a possibility of collecting stagnant water. There could be mosquitos breeding in your indoor bamboo plants, the area under the air-conditioning vents, the dog’s water bowl or even that discarded tyre outside the house
☞Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes
☞Experiment with placing mosquito repellent plants around the house. However, one must ensure that the water drains out well
☞Limit the number of time children spent outside during the day, especially in the hours around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
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