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    Illnesses & Infections

    What to do if my child has dengue

    Written on 3 May 2021

    Mosquitos look tiny, but they can affect kids and elders in a colossal way! Dengue, like chikungunya, Zika virus, yellow fever, and malaria, is a mosquito-borne disease. It is carried by the Aedes mosquito, which bites during the day, unlike other mosquitos!

    If your child experiences flu-like illness, is more irritated than usual, has physical discomfort, has gastrointestinal problems, witnesses bleeding from gums and nose, and has itchy skin- all these are a few symptoms of the dengue virus. Always be alert and on the watch for these symptoms so that the illness doesn't get severe.

    What should you do if your child has dengue?

    Consult a doctor first because the symptoms of dengue and chikungunya are pretty similar, and hence, your doctor will most probably suggest a blood test to confirm the treatment. Here are a few basic things that you should follow if your baby shows symptoms of dengue:

    • Ensure ample rest for your toddler so that they don't get exhausted.

    • Give him healthy food and lots of fluids. This is because your baby needs to pass urine, and the urine has to be light and clear.

    • If your baby is breastfeeding, make sure that you don't miss even a single feeding session. Breast milk is medicinal in itself and takes care of the fluid requirement in your baby's body. Oral Rehydration Therapy is recommended for older kids to have no fluid and electrolytes shortage in the body.

    • If your child has a high fever, you should give him paracetamol as well as a cool towel to wrap around his head. This will aid in the reduction of his body temperature.

    • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or similar medications that work to reduce swelling should be avoided. This is because these drugs can lower the platelet count even further, resulting in additional blood loss.

    • There is a chance that your baby's muscle and joint pain may get intolerable. In such a situation, request the pediatrician to prescribe analgesic medicines like acetaminophen, which will not cause a drop in platelet count like ibuprofen.

    • Despite doing all of the above, if your child's symptoms do not improve, immediate doctor care is needed. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is possible. In that event, your child may need to be hospitalized for intravenous (IV) therapy to replace fluids and salts lost due to vomiting and diarrhea.

    • The pediatrician may also recommend oxygen therapy and frequent blood pressure monitoring.

    • Depending on the severity of the sickness, a pediatrician may recommend a series of blood transfusions to replace the blood lost throughout the disease.

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