Children Diseases Cause of Changing Season

Every season has a variety of epidemic diseases that are easy for children with weaker immune systems to become infected with. Below is an introduction to the possible epidemic diseases, and how to heal without complications.

Spring (March - May) Epidemic Diseases

epidemic

Typical Conditions: Measles, angina, rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis etc.

Allergy irritants such as sand, dust and pollen are plentiful during this time; spring time is ripe with epidemic allergic conditions. There is also a great deal of respiratory system conditions too. Avoid crowded places and develop the habit of washing hands, making sure it is clean after returning home.

Because there is a significant difference in temperature from morning to evening, extra attention must be paid to keeping the body temperature stable. There are many cases of measles during spring. Thus, it should be best to administer vaccinations during the previous winter.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Causes and Conditions

This disease is not due to bacterial infection but due to dirt things such as dust and pollen, substances that irritate the conjunctiva causing a reaction. People with an allergic condition such as those suffering from asthma (which is a viral infection) or abnormal skin inflammation are easy to become infected. Initially, the eye and eyelid will itch and then will develop a pain and sty. Subsequently, the conjunctiva will turn red and will weep yellow mucus. Rubbing the eye will cause the white of the eyeball to swell. Thus, it is best to avoid this as it may lead to the development of blisters on the conjunctiva.

Care Instructions

In order to quickly soothe the itchiness and hyperemia etc., steroids and antihistamines must be used but prolonged use may develop side effects. If they are used in accordance with the doctor’s instructions, there should be no problem.

Beware of using saline solution to clean the eyes as it will actually aggravate the conjunctiva. If the children can’t bear the itchiness, they can be given an ice pack, maintaining room humidity will also help recovery. When symptoms persist, seek pediatric consultation and treatment.

When there is a lot of sand or pollen floating in the air it is best to avoid going outdoors. If this is unavoidable, remember to use warm water to wash hands and feet after returning home.

Allergic Meningitis

Causes and Symptoms

This condition is an epidemic lasting between the start of spring and the end of summer. There are many causes, but the majority of cases are caused by enterovirus. Although it appears at irregular times throughout the year, there are particularly more cases in the South during April and May, and between June and August in the Central and Northern areas. Initially there will be a sore throat, cough and runny nose conditions. In addition, there will be a lack of appetite, crying and fussing, vomiting and diarrhea. There will be fever, headache, the rear of the neck will become stiff with cramps, and seizure.

Care Instructions

As with the common cold, there is no special treatment but it is important to get plenty of rest and take antipyretics and painkillers to ease the symptoms. There will be complete recovery after 1-2 weeks. When suffering from this condition, it is best to go for a meningitis examination in order to identify the cause. There is no basic prevention but during epidemic periods, avoid crowded places, frequently wash the hands, feet and brush the teeth, this can reduce the rate of infections.

Summer (June - August) Epidemic Diseases

Typical Conditions: Foot and mouth disease (one of the skin conditions that children may get), epidemic conjunctivitis, viral encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, air conditioning syndrome, prickly heat, diaper rash, food poisoning, dysentery, paratyphoid fever and cholera.

In blisteringly hot weather, all manners of viruses spread quickly and the body’s immune system will be weaker thus making it very easy to become infected. In using a swimming pool, it is very easy to become infected with epidemic conjunctivitis or Japanese encephalitis, both of which are season’s most prolific epidemic diseases. If food is spoiled and eaten, the troubles begin immediately. Over exposure to the sun can lead to stroke or sunburn. Despite the hot weather, it is best to avoid cold foods and avoid constant use of air conditioning or electric fan.

Epidemic Conjunctivitis

Causes and Symptoms

This is the most common of the summer diseases. Of all the eye infections during this season, 90% are conjunctivitis and is caused by herpes virus. The eyes become red with hyperemia and eye gum increases. It is a highly infectious condition. As the virus enters the body, it will incubate for 5-7 days before exhibiting. Therefore, infection often occurs without the patient realizing. Children will also have cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, fever and diarrhea etc.

Care Instructions

Rubbing the eyes will cause the condition to worsen and even develop a sty. The hands need to be washed frequently. If the eyes are very itchy, ice cubes wrapped in a towel can be applied to soothe the area. If the itchiness is hard for the child to bear, the mother can first wash the hands. Using the back of the hand, gently massage the area.

If infected with epidemic conjunctivitis, seek hospital treatment. Avoid passing or transmitting the disease on to other people. If there is a family member infected, ensure that towels are kept separately and be aware of door handles. This condition will persist for around 2-3 weeks, but continued treatment is very important.

Air Conditioning Syndrome

This condition arises chiefly from a significant difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. If a significant temperature difference gives rise to abnormalities in the body’s temperature regulation, sickness will soon follow. As the child’s body temperature regulation function has not yet matured, it is even easier to become sick. There will be a slight temperature and chills, along with diarrhea, headache and a lack of appetite. Air conditioning will also make the air dry which will irritate the bronchial tubes, causing the mucous membrane to become inflamed. It is also possible to get a cold or become infected with a respiratory condition.

Care Instructions

As the body becomes cold, metabolism becomes sluggish. When this happens, it is best to drink warm water or warm porridge. Eating fruit is beneficial, especially fruits with a high water and vitamin content. When air-conditioning is used, it is also good to get some fresh air into the room, but try to restrict the indoor and outdoor temperature difference to no greater than 5 degrees.

Autumn (September - November) Epidemic Diseases

Typical Conditions: Chickenpox, sudden measles, viral enteritis, bronchitis, pneumonia etc. all manner of respiratory conditions.

During seasonal change, when the difference in temperature between day and night is significant, it is easy for children to get sick. When the weather turns cold, there are some viruses that already start to propagate, most typically the enteritis rotavirus. In the morning, when the temperature suddenly drops, it is the easiest time to catch a cold.

Bronchitis

Causes and Symptoms

Bronchitis is a viral infection. The majority of cases start as a common cold. Then as the inflammation worsens, the condition deteriorates into bronchitis. The symptoms are similar to a cold: runny nose, sneezing and coughing fits. There will be a sore throat and a lack of appetite and maybe a slight or high fever. These symptoms will continue for 3-4 days. Breathing will labor that the breast will rise and fall in big movements. Coughing will drain the energy leaving the patient exhausted needing to lay down.

Care Instructions

Usually, lots of antibiotics are used to treat the condition but this will not cure the ailment immediately. Getting plenty of rest and eating well is the most important thing. Get fresh air regularly into the house and maintain cleanliness at all times, removing substances which can cause bronchitis such as dust and viruses. A humidifier can be used to maintain the indoor humidity and drink plenty of warm water to easily expel phlegm.

Viral Enteritis

Causes and Symptoms

This is caused by a rotavirus causing the stomach to become inflamed, known to be as rotavirus enteritis. It becomes epidemic during dry winter season of October, November and January. The infection comes from the airborne bacteria being inhaled and sometimes sucking of fingers wherein the bacteria are being ingested.

After being infected, a high fever will soon follow and if severe, may result in febrile seizures. The fever will persist for 2-3 days and then vomiting and sudden diarrhea will begin. Initially, defecation will be the same color as usual, but will gradually change into a rice water appearance. The frequency of diarrhea will be high, could be 2-3 times per day, or at an average of 7-10 times resulting more than 10 times in severe cases.

If there are no other problems or complications, the majority of cases will recover within a week. Recovery time will be greatly increased for those infected who allow the mucous membrane in the intestines to become damaged. Under these conditions, within 1-2 weeks diarrhea will quickly follow after milk has been drunk, and may persist to watery defecation for a few months, but this severity is rarely encountered.

Care Instructions

It is most important to prevent dehydration. It is very difficult to supplement water feeding when the baby is vomiting, crying and fussing. No matter how difficult it is, patiently feeding them with small amounts of water will be of great help for the patient’s speedy recovery.

This condition is highly infectious; therefore, hands must be frequently washed making sure that proper hygiene is maintained in the surroundings. It is also very important for the mother to wash her hands with soap after changing diapers. Any clothing that has come into contact with defecation from the ailing child must be washed separately from those that have not.

Winter (December - February) Epidemic Diseases

Typical Conditions: Influenza, obliterans bronchitis, acute laryngitis, sore throat, mumps etc.

From the start of autumn, intestinal viruses and respiratory viruses spread. This season will cause even greater suffering for the children. Along with the cold wind blowing and temperature rapidly dropping, it is a very difficult season to adjust to. Children with a weak immune system are very easy to be exposed to it and infected by these viruses. Indoor temperature must be maintained at 20-22 degrees and humidity maintained at 60%. Ensure that the child’s immune system doesn’t deteriorate too much by balanced temperature, feeding and giving the proper food intake according to their age needs.

Allergic Rhinitis

Causes and Symptoms

This is caused by certain substances irritating the mucous membrane in the nose. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny and stuffy nose. When severe, the eyes and neck will become itchy. The eyes will become watery, accompanied with headaches and stuffy nose and at times the sense of smell is lost. If the heat is too high, then the indoor air will be too dry. If the air is not clean, the symptoms will become more severe. Keep a balanced room temperature.

If the condition is not treated properly, it is easy to develop complications such as otitis media, empyema, or even allergic asthma, so it is important to have the treatment appropriately.

Care Instructions

Although the child is feeling uncomfortable with a stuffy and runny nose, it is still not possible to use suction to have the mucus removed or to use a nasal spray. Though these methods can temporarily provide relief, if frequently used to remove the mucus, the area providing the nose’s antibacterial function will also be removed and thus the ability to heal oneself naturally will be greatly reduced.

If the body temperature suddenly changes, the symptoms will suddenly get worse. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing when going outdoors. Cleanliness and rhinitis have a significant connection and personal hygiene is also an important factor. Use a damp cloth to clean away dust, and be aware of cat, dog or other animal’s hair which will irritate or even aggravate allergic condition.

Laryngitis

Causes and Symptoms

Often referred to as a throat cold, it is an inflammation of the throat and larynx. There will be fever, sore throat, excess phlegm and severe coughing.

Food and air passes through the throat and located just below the throat is where the air is passed into the lungs. These two places use mucus membranes to dampen the tissue. If the weather turns dry or if the indoor air becomes polluted, the mucus membrane will also become dry, thus become inflamed. Children under 1 year old with a weaker immune system or older than 1 year who are easily fatigued are more likely to be infected with laryngitis.

Care Instructions

As this is a bacterial infection, taking antibiotics will speed up the recovery process. Medicine should be regularly and promptly taken and food eaten normally having also plenty of rest. Just like other respiratory conditions, wet clothes can be dried indoors or adjust the humidity to 50-70%. It is more comfortable for the indoor temperature to be maintained at around 18-24 degrees.

For children that are able to gargle, it is useful to do so with saline water which will be helpful in preventing infection. Drinking warm water, hot tea or rice milk is also good. It is also fine to use throat lozenges if the child’s throat is very painful.

With all those information, it will somehow serve as a guide to help you in case your child gets to have one of the above mentioned epidemic diseases. Remember that proper hygiene helps a lot.

Stephanie
 

Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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