With the heat on in full swing, summer can be a trying time for your baby. Heat stroke, prickly heat and sunburn can all make your little one’s life uncomfortable. And with all the time your kid spends in community pools and parks, he’s bound to get an infection.
We list out five common summer illnesses that can harm your child, and what you can do to treat them naturally.
Stomach flu or gastroenteritis is a common summer health issue and usually starts with diarrhea. While babies usually pass stools quite often and you may confuse it with diarrhea, if your baby passes stools more than four times a day (and they are watery), it could be due to a stomach infection.
Causes: Rotavirus is the main virus behind diarrhea. However, diarrhea can also be caused by a reaction to certain antibiotics, an allergy, formula feeds that are not properly diluted and a cold.
Symptoms: The stools will be watery and would emit a strong odor. They may be streaked with mucus. Your baby may also have fever along with loose stools.
What You Can Do: Maintain good hygiene by always washing your hands before feeding your baby, playing with him or even while handling the bottle. As germs often spread from hand to mouth, keep your baby’s hands clean as well. Do not use anti-diarrheal medicine without the advice of your pediatrician. You can also treat your child’s diarrhea at home. Here’s how.
Your baby will lose fluids much faster than you due to the heat, so it is extremely important to ensure your little one is well-hydrated.
Causes: Dehydration can be triggered by diarrhea, fever, vomiting, not having enough fluids and even excessive sweating.
Symptoms: Dark yellowish urine, fever, dryness in the lips and mouth, drowsiness.
What You Can Do: If your baby is still breastfeeding, feed him as much as you can. If your baby eats solids, offer him water in between. If your baby refuses breast milk or water, speak to your doctor about ORS and try feeding him every half hour or so. You can also give him coconut water or plain yogurt.
3. Prickly Heat Rash
Prickly heat rashes are very common in summers and, unfortunately, your baby is not immune to them.
Symptoms: Prickly heat is a rash that looks red and appear along the neck, arms, nappy area or on skin folds. Your baby may also be cranky and will want to scratch the area again and again.
Causes: Prickly heat rashes mostly appear when your baby is feeling too hot. If your baby sweats too much, it can clog the pores and trap the sweat, causing the rashes to develop.
What To Do: Make sure your baby’s room is cool and well-ventilated. Let your baby rest in-between playing and other activities to allow the body to cool down. Cover your baby’s head while going out and avoid going out when temperatures are soaring. Dress your child in cool, comfortable clothes that are not too tight. If your baby is still using diapers, remember to leave him without one for one or two hours to allow the skin to breathe.
Your baby’s sensitive skin can easily get sunburnt, causing it to become red and hot to touch.
Symptoms: Your baby’s skin will be hot, red and might be accompanied with blisters in severe cases. Your baby may also look drowsy or tired.
Causes: Exposure to the sun.
What To Do: Take a cloth and dip it in cool water. Wring out the water and place the cloth on the affected area. Avoid applying any soap as it will irritate the skin. Using a baby lotion with calming ingredients such as calamine or aloe vera would soothe the itching and prevent blisters. You can also try these natural ways to soothe your toddler’s sunburn.
Hot weather can often induce fever in young babies, which can be accompanied with a cold and cough.
Symptoms: Lethargy, not interested in feeding or eating, skin that is hot to the touch, redness on skin, difficulty in breathing or breathing slower than usual, vomiting, sneezing, runny nose, rashes on the body.
Causes: The fever could either be due to a heat stroke or an infection.
What To Do: Make sure you take your baby to the doctor immediately to diagnose the real cause and start the treatment accordingly.
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