HYGIENE TIPS FOR YOUR BABY
Most parents of new-borns are extremely weary of their baby’s first monsoon. Monsoons bring on viral infections ranging from common colds to dengue or leptospirosis. However there are ways to minimize the risk of your child falling sick by making a few changes here and there or actions that you can take to help keep the illnesses at bay.
The following are some hygiene tips to observe during monsoon season to keep your baby healthy:
Home and Environmental concerns:
- Babies tend to fall sick due to the sudden change in the weather. You can avoid exposing your child to the sudden change from the hot summer to the cool, humid monsoons by trying to stay inside during those first few showers and keep the temperature at home at a relatively constant level.
- Keep an eye out for any stagnant water at home. Put fresh water in vases (or try to do away with them altogether) and dig out any stagnant water in the garden or in indoor potted plants. This is an important measure to keep the mosquitos away.
- Wet towels, wet socks or shoes etc. can become breeding grounds for bacteria so ensure that the general home environment is as clean and dry as possible.
- Other measures to help keep mosquitos at bay are to install mosquito meshes on all windows, put a mosquito net around your baby’s crib, switch on mosquito repellents(however, only bring the baby into the room at least half an hour after you have switched them off) and invest in those electric mosquito bats. Switching on the air conditioning also helps keep them away.
- Avoid crowded places where your baby could pick up an infection.
- Keep the baby away from anyone who has any sort of viral infection including the flu, conjunctivitis or a cold.
- Boil and sterilize all the baby’s bottles and cups as often as possible.
- Tap or even filter water tends to run the risk of contamination during this time of the year so if your baby is on solid food (how to introduce your baby to solid food) then ensure you use only boiled water in all food preparations.
- Ensure that anyone who holds the baby has washed their hands. Even if they are not sick they could be carriers of infection.
- Parents, siblings and other people who are in constant contact with the baby should make sure they have clean nails (dirty nails are breeding grounds for bacteria) and clean and dry clothes.
- During monsoon clothes take a long time to dry. This is why it is important to check that the baby is wearing clothes that are completely dry and don’t have any signs of dampness as this could lead to fungal infections.
- Keep the baby in cool, light cottons. If it is cold then you can wrap him/her in a cardigan or a blanket. However due to the humidity it is best to stick to clothes that can easily absorb sweat. Also remember that dark colours attract mosquitos so it is best to stick to light colours.
- Continue to breastfeed if you have not already stopped. The anti-bodies in breast milk help the baby’s immune system and keeps illnesses at bay.
- Keep your baby as covered as possible in long sleeves and pants. This is so that there is less exposure of skin to mosquitos.
- Look out for signs of dengue (fever, runny nose, cough, skin rash, vomiting, loss of appetite) and consult your doctor immediately is your baby displays these signs.
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