As the rainy season brings much-needed respite from the sultry heat, it also needs parents to be extra careful about the germs and dirt that wet umbrellas, greasy shoes, dripping pipes, damp walls, soaking clothes carry. Meanwhile, the air remains laden with moisture leading to various fungal and bacterial growths inside the house. The new-born babies are most susceptible to falling sick during this time. All the parents must be cautious about washing their hands when they come from outside with anti-bacterial agents before touching the baby. Don’t get your baby near an ill person. Do a pre-monsoon check in the house by fixing of leakages and damp areas and effectively but safely using mosquito repellents. Consult your paediatrician at the earliest if your baby catches a cold or mild fever. We have also listed below some more useful tips to safeguard your baby from monsoon woes this season:
Keep your little one clean and happy – Let your baby have daily bath and sponging. Clean underarms, neck, genitals and other folds and creases of the body thoroughly. Keep continuing with the pre-bath oil massages to increase blood circulation. Use a fresh towel to gently pat your baby dry. Pay extra attention to skin-care as at this early stage it is significant to baby’s development. Use a mild hypo-allergic moisturizer like Cetaphil for gentle moisturization.
Cover with light clothing – It is usually hot and humid even during the rainy season, so make sure your baby is well covered in cotton wears when outside. At home put a thin cotton sheet on baby so that they are not lying completely exposed. While sleeping at night you can opt for full-length soft cotton clothing for your babies. Never put damp clothes on the baby. Always remember to dry off the damp clothes under the sun for at least 2-3 hours. Wearing damp clothes can lead to fungal infection on baby’s skin.
Give your baby diaper breaks– Undoubtedly, diapers are new-age mothers’ best friend,nonetheless ensure that your baby gets frequent diaper breaks. While it is highly advisable to use diaper when outside, do make sure to let your baby’s skin breath freely without diaper once inside the house. In case of diaper rashes, clean the area with mild wipes and create a protective barrier with doctor’s recommended ointment/creme.
Maintain a pleasant room temperature – In most cases, babies are best raised in thermo neutral environment. So, preserve the ambient temperature around 28 – 30 °C. It should neither get too hot nor too cold. It is recommended to use light-weight bedding along with fine cotton covers for the baby. At night if your baby feels cold, then add an extra layer to cover up.
Usage of boiled water is a must –Proper hydration is must for the baby, but don’t forget to boil the water first before cooling it and giving it to the baby. Cool down the boiled water and keep it stored for cooking solid food for your infant. If your baby is still having formula food, then use this purified water to prepare them. Make juices and pulp out of cherries, litchee, jamun, peaches and plums and feed to your baby. For maximum protein whole eggs, soya and pulses are a good option.
Keep your home clean – Germs and dirt are the main reasons due to which babies fall sick and during monsoon, chances of water-borne diseases increase in leaps and bounds. Clean the floors with disinfecting agents containing active natural ingredients. Take care of the internal drainage system and keep your garden area, bathrooms and roof tidy so that mosquitoes don’t breed in damp corners. Keep away from dampness as much as possible. Use a vacuum cleaner to brush off the dirt from furniture, carpets and sofa. Get a pest control treatment done before the on-set of the rainy season.
Dr. Ruchi Golash
Consultant, Department of Paediatrics
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Published in Sananda Magazine, Kolkata