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Suffering summertime - when children face health hazards

AS the sultry plum season warns of summer heat to come, hospitals are preparing for one of their busiest periods. From June onwards children will start pouring into accident and emergency wards.

Usually children will be there for summer colds, fevers, stomach upsets and accidents.

Some students may also take advantage of the time in their summer holidays to seek treatment for more chronic conditions like myopia, rhinitis and skin complaints.

Any child with a temperature over 39 degrees Celsius, new-born babies with a fever, convulsions, or diarrhea and children who are hurt in accidents should be taken immediately to hospital.

Qian Jihong, vice director of the pediatric internal medicine department at Xinhua Hospital, says key precautions against summer illnesses include maintaining a proper temperature indoors, keeping windows open so that air can circulate and exercising more.

She also suggests people enjoy a balanced nutritious diet of fresh food.

People who exercise and sweat should dry themselves as soon as they can to keep dry and avoid catching cold.

Families need to make sure the hospital they choose is listed on their insurance policy so that they can be reimbursed.

Patients can make appointments with specialists at the hospital.

Digestive complaints

Intestinal problems in summer are mostly the result of bacterial infections.

Avoid random blends of cold, hot and greasy foods.

Having fruit or cold drinks before meals may disturb regular eating habits and even result in the abnormal secretion of digestive juices.

Parents should be careful about the number of cold drinks or ice creams that children consume.

Respiratory diseases

Herpetic pharyngitis and pharyngo-conjunctival fever are two types of common upper respiratory tract infections in infants.

The main symptoms are a high fever and a sore throat.

Physical efforts with a cool bath or an ice pillow can help keep the fever down.

Plenty of rest and liquid are crucial.

A mild easy-to-digest diet is recommended for sick infants.

It will take about one or two weeks for the child to recover if there are no secondary diseases or other complications.

Infectious diseases

Encephalitis B occurs frequently among children aged between two and seven years during July, August and September.

It is usually transmitted by mosquitoes.

Within one or two days infected children will be running a temperature of 39 to 40 degrees Celsius.

They will develop symptoms that can include headaches, nausea, projectile vomiting and lethargy, even falling unconscious, convulsing or suffering respiratory failure.

Skin diseases

Heat rash is the most common skin disease for children in summer.

Avoid scratching the affected area. Bathing with cool water or using an anti-pruritic cream will help.

If the wound becomes infected use aureomycin or neomycin.

Suggested items to bring when taking your kid to see a doctor:


for fear of exposure to cross infection.

Extra clothes:

to resist temperature drop from outdoor heat to indoor air-conditioned cool.

Solid food and drinks: physically prepared for usually inevitable long wait and better some portable breakfast for empty-stomach medical check.


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