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How to Protect Your Kids from Dengue Fever


How to Protect Your Kids from Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that can affect people of all ages, but it's especially important to be vigilant about protecting children. To help us better understand dengue and how to keep our kids safe, we spoke with Dr. Kim Dumayac, a pediatrician at Doctor Anywhere.


Dr. Kim shared valuable insights on the signs and symptoms of dengue in children, the importance of early diagnosis, and how to prevent mosquito bites at home.



Dengue Symptoms in Children

Dengue Symptoms in Children

Due to weaker immune systems, young children, especially infants, are at a higher risk of severe dengue illness and complications compared to healthy adults. Dr. Kim explains the telltale signs, "Dengue fever can mimic the flu. Look out for a fever that lasts for 2-7 days, along with headache, pain behind the eyes, body aches, nausea, vomiting, rashes, and weakness."


When asked about how dengue fever symptoms differ in children compared to adults, she noted, "Children may experience nausea and rashes more noticeably than adults." UNICEF also adds that children with dengue may become more irritable and experience changes in appetite and sleep patterns.


These symptoms can be easily confused with other illnesses, so early diagnosis is crucial. "Catching dengue early also allows for better monitoring and management," says Dr. Kim. Early intervention helps prevent dehydration, especially if the child is vomiting or not eating. Critically, early diagnosis allows healthcare professionals to identify children at risk of complications and closely monitor them during the critical phase of the illness.


Left untreated, dengue can lead to serious complications. Dr. Kim warns of potential risks like shock, cold and clammy extremities, and difficulty breathing. There’s also a risk of severe bleeding due to decreased platelet count.



Prevention Tips to Protect Your Children

Prevention Tips to Protect Your Children

The good news is that there are steps parents can take to prevent their children from getting dengue in the first place. Dr. Kim emphasizes avoiding mosquito bites, particularly during the daytime. This can be achieved through:

  • Use an age-appropriate mosquito repellent recommended by a healthcare professional.

  • Spray mosquito repellent or use mosquito coils around the home

  • Use mosquito nets when sleeping – especially during the day

  • Encouraging to wear long sleeves, pants, and socks when outdoors

  • Installing screens on windows and doors

  • Eliminating mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as stagnant water in containers, flower vases and saucers, and other areas



Dengue fever can be a scary topic, but with the right knowledge and preventive measures, we can keep our children safe and healthy! If you suspect dengue, seek medical attention to ensure proper diagnosis and management. Our general practitioners are available 24/7, either on-demand or by appointment. Use promo code DACONSULT30 to save ₱30 on your first video consultation with a general practitioner. This code is valid for users who haven't had a video consultation with a GP, linked their HMO or insurance accounts to Doctor Anywhere, or subscribed to our health plans. The promo runs from January 10, 2024, to December 31, 2024. DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-182380 Series of 2023.


We also offer a wide range of specialists, including infectious disease doctors and pediatricians, available daily by appointment, even on weekends and holidays. Use promo code DAEXPERTCARE to save ₱30 on your first video consultation with a specialist. This promo is for users who haven't had a video consultation with any specialists, linked their HMO or insurance accounts, or subscribed to our health plans. The promo runs from May 1, 2024, to April 30, 2025. DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-192282 Series of 2024.


Get the free app on the Google Play Store or App Store to create an account for your child. In the absence of an ID, please use their birth certificate and the "Registry number" as their ID number.




Sources:

1. Dr. Dumayac, Kimberly Claire. Interviewed on 2 May 2024.

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