The rainy season does come with its share of problems, and topping the list are the rainy day illnesses that seem to come hand-in-hand with the stormy weather.
The bad guys
Anna Lisa Lopez-Gabriel, pediatrician at the Makati Medical Center and Medical Center Parañaque, and owner of MommyDepotOnline.com lists the most common sicknesses to watch out for as the rains begin to come down.
1. The common cold (Rhinovirus, Coronavirus among many others)
2. Influenza otherwise known as the flu or trangkaso
3. Dengue Fever
The cold and the flu
The common cold and the flu are very easy to catch from someone who has it. “Both are viruses that are easily passed on when a sick person coughs or sneezes,” says Dr. Lopez-Gabriel. “Symptoms include runny nose, cough, fever, body aches, and lethargy.”
She also explains that these two illnesses seem to be most rampant when school begins. “Kids stay inside a classroom and are constantly exposed to a sick classmate,” Dr. Lopez-Gabriel says.
When one child is sick, the bug usually makes its rounds, infecting almost every one of his classmates. It’s not surprising when there are days that almost all the children are absent due to something they caught in school.
Don’t catch them!
Though you may have to resign yourself to the reality that your child will eventually catch something his classmates have, you can still do your best to keep him as healthy and protected as possible. “One way to prevent the common cold and other viral illnesses is to boost your immune system by getting enough sleep and eating fruits and vegetables,” says Dr. Lopez-Gabriel. “There has been evidence too, that frequent hand washing is another way to prevent it.”
When it comes to the flu, your pediatrician will recommend getting “the seasonal influenza vaccine.” Since the entire household is down when Mommy is sick, it might be a good idea for you to get the flu vaccine too. You can even get this together with your child when you visit your pediatrician.
Probably the one sickness every parent fears is dengue, which is also associated with the rainy season. “The dengue mosquito (Aedes aegypti) breeds in stagnant water,” explains Dr. Lopez-Gabriel. “During rainy season, rain water collects in containers and puddles and becomes the breeding ground for the dengue mosquito.” At the same time, when it rains, mosquitoes head for shelter, so you’ll find more of them indoors where you are seeking shelter as well.
“Dengue and other viral illnesses often start with similar symptoms so it’s hard to distinguish them from one another during initial stages,” warns Dr. Lopez-Gabriel. “Prevention of dengue entails, of course, taking out their breeding ground and making sure there’s no stagnant water around the house or schools. Proper clothing and insect repellent may help.”
Though you can’t control everything that happens to you and your child, you can always take preventive measures to keep you and your family as healthy as possible.
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Olivia Yao has been writing ever since she can remember. She has written for health, teen, parenting, and children's magazines. Her latest endeavor is being a mom to her three-year-old daughter—her toughest assignment yet.