26, February, 2024
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Dealing with Rising Respiratory Illnesses in Kids – Causes and Prevention

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Kids are experiencing a surge in respiratory diseases, raising concerns among experts. Factors like allergens, a sedentary lifestyle, and the spread of viruses could be the culprits behind this trend.

The recent mysterious pneumonia cases in China and a similar outbreak in Ohio, US, affecting a large number of hospitalized children, highlight the seriousness of the situation. Ohio health officials are investigating this surge in infections, suspecting multiple common viruses.

Read Also | Child Pneumonia Concerns Prompt Health Department Actions in Response to Rising Cases in China

Numerous reasons contribute to the increase in respiratory diseases among children. Dr. Ravi Shekhar Jha of Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, points out various factors like air pollution, reduced physical activity, and the spread of viruses like RSV and influenza. These elements can negatively affect children’s health and increase the risk of respiratory illnesses.

Dr. Satish from CARE Hospitals, Hitech City, Hyderabad, lists common symptoms of respiratory diseases in children:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Discomfort
  • General Cold Symptoms like congestion and low-grade fever

He emphasizes environmental factors like air and indoor pollution, viral infections, lifestyle changes, and the still-developing immune system of children as reasons for respiratory illnesses. These factors collectively contribute to ailments like asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and croup among kids.

Preventing these respiratory infections is critical. Measures include ensuring children receive recommended vaccinations, practicing good hygiene with regular handwashing, avoiding smoke exposure, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and being mindful of environmental factors.

Dr. Jha further suggests specific preventive actions:

  • Vaccinations: Ensure children receive flu shots and future vaccines for respiratory viruses.
  • Hygiene: Encourage regular handwashing and teach proper respiratory etiquette.
  • Reduce Exposure: Minimize exposure to smoke, pollution, and indoor allergens.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Encourage exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.
  • Avoid Close Contact: Discourage proximity to sick individuals.
  • Clean Environment: Maintain clean, well-ventilated living spaces.

Read Also | Protecting Your Lungs in Polluted Environments: Lifestyle Measures and Nutrition Tips

Staying informed about health advisories and guidelines from healthcare professionals or public health authorities is essential in safeguarding children from prevalent respiratory illnesses.

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