Expert Tips To Prevent Water-Borne Diseases In Infants

 Like adults, infants can also get affected by a number of water-borne diseases. Here are some tips to prevent them. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Aug 21, 2022Updated at: Aug 21, 2022
Expert Tips To Prevent Water-Borne Diseases In Infants

Monsoon is both the most loved and the most hated season of all. The weather people tend to love the season, but the disease spreads across, and also the reason as it takes longer to recover from the disease. Like air-borne infections, water-borne infections can spread rapidly. The infection-causing bacteria and viruses spread vigorously with the help of contaminated water. In adults, babies are prone to getting affected by any kind of disease, especially during monsoons. Humid climate provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dengue, and viral fever. All kinds of preventive measures  It’s important to take preventive measures to avoid such seasonal illnesses, especially during infancy. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Prachi Bhosale Narendra, M.B.B.S, D.C.H & Developmental Paediatrics, Consultant Neonatology & Pediatrics, Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital, Brookfield Bengaluru, to know about the common water-borne diseases in infants and ways to prevent them. 

Ways to prevent water-borne diseases in infants 

Listed down are a few water-borne diseases and the ways to prevent them:

1. Malaria

Malaria is a common disease that spreads rapidly, especially during monsoons. Malaria is a fever caused by the female Anopheles mosquitoes which breed on stagnant, contaminated waters like sewage drains, ponds, lakes, etc. During monsoon when the water gets stagnant on the roads, and the canals get filled up with rainwater, it helps the mosquitoes to breed quicker. The water gets stagnant near the houses and when people tend to leave it unnoticed, it is easier for mosquitoes to breed and that could be a reason for the increasing cases of Malaria. In infants, as their immunity level is lower than adults, the chance of infants getting malaria and the intensity of the disease would be more than in adults. 

One can prevent the breeding of mosquitoes by throwing away water that stays stagnant near the house and having a proper water drainage area near the house. One can keep mosquito nets around the child when the baby is sleeping, and keep the doors and windows shut, especially in the evening when the mosquitoes try to enter the house.

Also read: Monsoon Maladies: 5 Common Water Borne Diseases You Should Know About

2. Typhoid

Typhoid is rare in infants, but it can be caused in certain cases by exposure to infected food or water. Caused by bacteria called Salmonella typhi, fever, pain in the abdomen, vomiting sensation, and diarrhea, are a few symptoms. It is a contagious disease that spreads quickly. 

Symptoms of typhoid fever in infants are weakness, fatigue, and weight loss. Typhoid fever can be prevented by ensuring that the baby always has clean water to drink and use. Boil or filter the water before giving it to the baby. There is no evidence that typhoid fever may get transmitted through breast milk. So keep breastfeeding the baby as breast milk provides the baby with essential nutrients and builds immunity to fight against infections. It can be partially preventable by vaccine, In Severe cases requires IV Antibiotics & Fluids.  

3. Giardiasis

water-borne diseases

Giardiasis is a common gut infection in children and infants during monsoons, caused by a water-based pathogen named Giardia Lamblia. It spreads through contaminated food, and water. In India, it is said to be a common disease due to poor sanitation in and around the community.  Symptoms like severe headache, nausea, loss of appetite, or if the baby is always tired or sleeping, there could be a chance of giardiasis. 

One needs to wash the fruits and vegetables in hot water to remove all kinds of germs from them. Even while giving the pulp of any fruit it is advised to boil it and then give it to the infants. One needs to wash the hand properly before feeding anything to the baby. These are a few ways to prevent giardiasis in infants.

Also read: Water-Borne Diseases: Follow These Precautionary Measures To Ensure A Flu-Free Monsoon

Conclusion

One needs to give home-cooked foods and try avoiding packed food powders to infants. It is crucial to adopt and maintain clean and sanitized conditions at home to prevent water-borne disease, especially during the monsoon. Infants need to be given warm water or boiled water to avoid any kind of infection. Proper water disinfection and ensuring perfect hygiene at all levels for infants, proper care, and hygienic measures can prevent infections. So as parents, it's important to pay attention to hygiene and to keep a regular check on the health of the infant to prevent water-borne illnesses.

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