Common illnesses in children during hot summer days

Common illnesses in children during hot summer days

Monday - 27/05/2024 05:44
With the characteristic intense heat of summer, it's a favorable time for many illnesses, notably those caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
In children, due to their weaker immunity and incomplete immune system, there's a high risk of contracting certain dangerous illnesses during the hot season. The number of children seeking medical care at hospitals increases during summer, especially on prolonged sunny days.

This phenomenon is caused by the high temperature and ultraviolet rays (UV rays) from the sun. UV rays can penetrate the skin's epidermis to the dermis, causing sunburn (first-degree burns) and sunstroke. High temperatures dilate blood vessels in the brain, increasing pressure on the skull and causing headaches, possibly accompanied by nausea or dizziness, seizures due to the inhibition of the brain cortex - increasing automatic nervous system activities under the cortex. To prevent sunstroke in children, avoid letting them play in intense sunlight and ensure they drink plenty of water. During summer, be especially cautious when taking children to rural areas or beaches, limiting their exposure to direct sunlight from 10 am to 4 pm. Additionally, increase the consumption of foods that support the body against the effects of sunlight and oxidative stress, such as foods rich in carotenoids (watermelon, pumpkin, coriander, spinach...), vitamin E (soybean oil, cashews, almonds...), and vitamin C (green tea, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables...).

Japanese Encephalitis B
This is a seasonal bacterial neurological disease caused by a type of Arbovirus group B. The disease-causing virus is transmitted from animals to humans by mosquitoes. Japanese encephalitis B has a relatively high mortality rate or can lead to severe neurological complications. Common symptoms include high fever, headache, nausea, consciousness disorders, seizures followed by rapid progression to coma. Some cases may show signs of neurological paralysis. When children exhibit these symptoms, it's crucial to promptly take them to a medical facility for examination and treatment to reduce the risk of mortality and future complications. Prevention measures include maintaining a clean environment, well-ventilated housing, using mosquito repellents, and administering Japanese encephalitis vaccination according to the schedule for children.

Viral Fever
Children often experience high fever, body aches, headaches, and may have symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as sneezing, runny nose, cough (often with little white phlegm or no colored phlegm). Children may develop a rash, commonly caused by the rubella virus, also known as German measles. The main symptom is a fine red rash, typically appearing on the 2nd-4th day of illness, starting from the face and spreading downwards to the body, arms, and legs, disappearing in the same order. Additionally, children may have swollen lymph nodes in the neck and behind the ears, which may be painful and persist for a while before disappearing. The disease usually resolves benignly within 3-5 days. Treatment mainly focuses on reducing fever, rehydrating through oral fluids, ensuring nutrition, and providing good throat care to limit secondary infections. However, it's essential to monitor for complications, as some cases may develop signs of encephalitis such as headaches, vomiting, consciousness disorders, seizures, and promptly bring the child to a medical facility for examination and timely treatment.

Acute Diarrhea
The causes of diarrhea can be pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria (dysentery, typhoid fever, cholera...) or viruses, fungi, intestinal parasites. The disease mechanism can be due to toxins produced by bacteria, with symptoms often appearing early (within 6 hours after infection), or directly caused by bacteria damaging the digestive system, with digestive disorder symptoms usually appearing later. Acute diarrhea can occur at any age, but 80% occurs in children under 2 years old. The agents of diarrhea often spread through the fecal-oral route: the stool of infected individuals contaminates food, drinks, or direct contact with the source.

When a child has acute diarrhea, the most important aspect is to assess the degree of fluid loss and rehydrate through oral rehydration solution, intravenous fluids are only given when there's severe dehydration, excessive vomiting, inability to drink, or excessive defecation that oral rehydration cannot catch up with. The use of antibiotics and probiotics should be under the doctor's prescription, and it's absolutely forbidden to use diarrhea medications without consulting a doctor.

Skin Diseases
The most common skin condition is diaper rash. This is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands of hair follicles, causing them to swell on the skin's surface as small, red, itchy blisters. The main cause of diaper rash is blockage of hair follicles by dirt. Especially in hot and humid weather, the body increases the activity of sweat glands and sebaceous glands in the mechanism of heat dissipation. Treating diaper rash is simple, by keeping the area clean with soap or lemon to clear the drainage ducts of these glands on the skin's surface. When severe, or when necessary, anti-inflammatory creams containing corticosteroids can be applied. Particularly in young children, if not properly cleaned and dried, within a few hours, areas such as the groin, armpits, neck (under the chin), and buttock creases may develop itchy pimples or even sudden ulcers. Besides diaper rash, the hot and humid summer is conducive to the growth of various fungi (ringworm, candidiasis, athlete's foot, tinea versicolor...), folliculitis, including parasitic skin infections (scabies, lice, mites...) or activation of allergic skin inflammation processes (eczema...).

In addition to maintaining hygiene for children, parents should regularly check the genital area, especially when children show signs of itching, to detect and treat skin diseases early. The main manifestations usually concentrate in areas such as the groin, armpits, neck, toe webs, hands, and behind the ears. The treatment of these diseases often involves using creams containing anti-inflammatory steroids, antifungals, and antibiotics as prescribed by a doctor.
 Tags: summer

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