The monsoon season has reached its peak in most places in India. The season brings along beautiful hues of greens, and a breath of fresh air, from the scorching summer heat. But it also is the season of viral fevers and infection, as the weather is warm and humid, enough for viruses and bacteria to breed. One such tropical viral infection is dengue fever caused by a particular mosquito bite, which children are most prone to as they spend a lot of time outdoors. Dengue symptoms in children may quickly turn severe if they are not treated on time. Hence we have compiled this article to help you identify these symptoms and get the proper treatment for your child.
What is Dengue Fever?
Before we know the dengue symptoms in a child, let us understand what exactly dengue fever is and what causes it. Dengue fever is a viral infection caused due to an infected Aedes mosquito bite. It is also known as break-bone fever, which is widespread mainly during the monsoon season as the weather is warm and humid. Dengue leaves your child with a high fever, headaches, pain in your eyes and entire body, fatigue, etc. It is a flu-like illness with mild to moderate symptoms but can sometimes lead to severe fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Hence in the different sections, we have provided detailed insights into dengue symptoms in a child's treatment and how it can affect your child.
How can Dengue Fever Affect Your Child?
Although you provide healthy food for your children, their immune system is still developing, making them prone to diseases. In addition, they spend a lot of time outdoors and may be exposed to germs and viruses, and as we know, dengue fever is caused by Aedes mosquito bites. Hence, it is best to get rid of stagnant water in and outside the house, as they can be breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes.
Dengue Symptoms in Child
Early identification of dengue symptoms in kids will help you get quick treatment before it gets too late. However, your child may be unable to tell you if they are sick, and dengue symptoms can quickly get severe. Hence it is best to watch out for these symptoms.
Typically dengue symptoms in children are not easily visible as they are similar to a regular fever. Symptoms can usually appear anywhere between 4 days- 2 weeks after being bitten by the Aedes mosquito. We have listed the following signs that you should be looking out for -
- ▪ Flu-like symptoms that last for 2-7 days
- ▪ High fever with a temperature of 40°C / 104°F or even a low body temperature such as less than 36°C or 96.8°F.
- ▪ Severe headaches, nausea, swollen glands, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, bone or muscle aches, and skin rashes
- ▪ If you notice symptoms like bleeding gums, blood in vomit, rapid breathing, and fatigue, know that these are severe.
Dengue Symptoms Treatment
Before it gets severe, it is best to provide your child with dengue symptoms treatment. Although there is no specific treatment for dengue symptoms, there are various steps you can take to minimize the severity of the fever. one of these steps is listed for you below--
- ▪ Dengue should be attended to by your family doctor or pediatrician first, who is likely to prescribe medication such as crocin or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) that can ease pain and reduce fever.
- ▪ Dengue fever causes severe dehydration, which is why your child must intake lots of fluids to flush out the infection from the system.
- ▪ It is best to avoid pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium as they can increase bleeding complications.
- ▪ Children with severe dengue fever are generally administered IV fluids and electrolyte replacement.
- ▪ Your pediatrician will ask you to include natural supplements in the diet, especially fruits.
- ▪ Your child’s regular meals must be non-spicy, light, and easy to digest.
How to Prevent Dengue Fever in Kids?
Prevention is better than cure, and dengue fever too can be prevented by following some safety measures. We have listed these steps below for your ready reference-
▪ Mosquito repellents
Since dengue fever is caused due to Aedes mosquito bites, you must ensure mosquitoes are kept away from children. Repellents have proven helpful. These repellents can protect your child for 10 hours after a single application. For more home remedy kinds of measures, you can apply the oil of lemon eucalyptus.
▪ Maintain hygiene in the house
Keep your house clean and clutter-free, and ensure no water accumulates. Use disinfectants to ensure that areas do not turn into breeding spaces for Aedes mosquitoes.
▪ Extra protection at home
For that extra dose of safety at home, you can use screens on doors and windows or keep them shut.
▪ Maintain personal hygiene
Ensure that your child washes their hands and feet regularly before eating, after coming home, and after using the bathroom. This personal hygiene etiquette must be taught while potty training your child.
▪ Kids Clothing
Make your kids wear long sleeves and pants whenever they are out of the house. This is because long clothes will ensure lesser exposure to mosquitoes.
Ways to Diagnose Dengue in Babies
Dengue symptoms in a child can be mild to moderate, but if you are late to diagnose the symptoms, they can get severe, leading to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). Hence you must confirm the dengue virus in your child through a blood test.
A comprehensive blood test helps to identify the severity of the dengue infection in children. After that doctor could even inquire about your baby's symptoms and exposure to mosquitoes, and the treatment can begin.
1. Risk Increases: Your child’s health is of primary concern, and with monsoon kicking in, the risk of them catching dengue fever has manifolded.
2. Ensure Personal Hygiene: Make sure your child washes their hands and feet before eating, after getting home, and after using the restroom frequently to avoid the risks of dengue.
3. Diagnose: Dengue symptoms in children can range from mild to severe; therefore, a blood test is required to establish the presence of the dengue virus in your child.
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