Summer is a great time for kids to get out and play. Summer camps, hiking trips with friends, or a long vacation with family are all on the list when summer arrives. However, this season, your kids are also susceptible to a lot of ailments and diseases when they come in contact with nature or with other infected kids. Pediatricians in Gaithersburg, MD explain the kind of summer ailments to look out for and how to keep your kids protected from them.
Kids play so much in summer that their regular intake of fluids becomes insufficient to combat loss of water through sweating or sun exposure. Common signs of dehydration include extreme thirst, fatigue, and reduced passage of urine. To protect your child from dehydration, encourage him/her to carry a water bottle at all times and drink from it at regular intervals. In case you see signs of dehydration, give your child plenty of fluid – encourage him/her to take sips at regular intervals than in one go. Use oral rehydration salts if the dehydration is extreme. This will help restore the mineral and electrolyte balance in their bodies.
The scorching heat in summer often results in sunburns, characterized by a burnt, red, and irritated skin. Long treks, beach camps, and outdoor activities in summer can all result in sunburns. To avoid the same, teach your kids how to use sunscreen products. Get them to apply the cream, lotion, or gel at least 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure. Remind them to re-apply after a few hours for extended protection. Encourage them to wear protective sunglasses, hats or caps, and lightweight scarves when they step out.
A heat stroke is the next stage of sunburns. It is a serious condition characterized by dizziness, increased sweating, rapid heart rate, vomiting, cramps, and skin that’s cool to the touch and covered with goosebumps. Sunstrokes generally occur during strenuous summer hikes, long hours on the beach or outdoor yard work. If your child displays signs of extreme fatigue, bring him/her inside, run the air conditioner, and administer cold water or sports drinks that can bring down the body temperature. Do not resort to extreme measures like applying an ice pack or giving a cold bath, which could worsen the condition by sending the body into shock. Call emergency or your Gaithersburg pediatrician if the symptoms do not subside.
Norovirus is the pesky stomach bug or infection that affects the stomach and intestine. It is characterized by nausea, vomiting, cramps, fever, body aches, and chills. Norovirus is usually foodborne and the best way to keep your children protected is by getting them to eat fresh and preferably home-cooked food. The virus leaves the child’s body and the ailment subsides on its own in a couple of days. During this period, keep your child hydrated, and use over the counter medications to treat fever and aches. If the fever or condition gets worse, consult a pediatrician in Gaithersburg immediately.
White Oak Pediatrics is a pediatric clinic based in Silver Spring and Gaithersburg, MD whose team of board certified pediatricians and nurse practitioners treat infants, toddlers, teens and adolescents. To learn more, visit WhiteOakPediatrics/Meet-Our-Providers.