CHENNAI: As children are more prone to infectious diseases than adults, there is a need to inculcate good hygiene practices and also teach them benefits of a balanced diet to build their immunity and strength, according to experts.
One of the common but oft-missing hygiene practices is washing your hands, which is ironically the best way to prevent diarrhoea, cold, fever, typhoid and cholera. According to a UNICEF study, washing hands with soap, particularly after contact with excreta, can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by 40% and respiratory infections by 30%. Of course, parents must get their kids immunised as well.
“It was found that one of the major recurring factors for the illnesses is their underdeveloped immune system. It means the child’s body has not yet been able to build up a defence machanism to fend off germs, and infections, thus making them more vulnerable to the environmental threats and hazards. Vaccination will help strengthen this immune system,” says Dr Madhuri Prabu, neonatal pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital.
It is the primary duty of parents to protect the children from illnesses. This can be done by adhering to a well-laid down safety and preventive measures. Children are likely to be more exposed to germs because of their surroundings. They come in contact with germs-infected surfaces.
Also over a period of time, harmful germs have evolved, and have become more resistant to drugs. Children, with an underdeveloped immune system, cannot react appropriately to such new and stronger germs.
Global warming is also one of the reasons for illness in children. Researches indicate that certain illnesses such as dengue and malaria thrive more in wet and warm temperature. Since environmental factors also contribute to illness, following traditional hygiene routine is important.
There is a growing need for an all-inclusive hygiene routine that includes basic habits like hand-washing and having a bath at least twice a day. “Also eating hygienic food and taking boiled water will go a long way in keeping the children’s body healthy,” adds Dr Madhuri Prabu.