There are a variety of pediatric diseases, and specifically, there are common children’s diseases in the hot season:
- ACUTE EXTERNAL OTITIS
It is a term that includes the inflammation or infection of the external auditory canal. It is commonly associated with patients who practice swimming and who spend considerable time in swimming pools.
By being moist for a long time, the local defense mechanisms are affected, causing the tissue to peel, producing a fissure, and being a gateway for microorganisms. There are other risk factors such as a foreign body in the ear, cleaning with cotton swabs, trauma, use of audio devices or headphones, among others.
The main symptoms are ear pain that intensifies when chewing or moving the auricle, itching (pruritus), less frequent plugged ear (entire ear) or decreased hearing acuity, and seldom purulent discharge from the ear.
For its treatment, it is recommended to see a doctor for assessment and indication of topical treatment with painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and topical antibiotics.
- ACUTE GASTROENTERITIS
In hot weather, children are more susceptible to gastrointestinal infections, either secondary to infection by viruses, bacteria, or parasites or by eating contaminated or poorly stored food.
The duration of most foods in the refrigerator is between two and four days and greater caution should be taken with foods that are more susceptible to expiration, such as dairy products, meats, fish, and shellfish.
The main symptoms are diarrhea, with or without mucus and blood. Vomiting, nausea, sometimes fever, and poor intake of food and drink (hyporexia).
Gastrointestinal infections are the main cause of dehydration, so a pediatrician’s evaluation should be immediate. The main treatment is adequate hydration and depending on the medical evaluation, an adequate diet, a hydration plan, symptomatic treatment or, if required, antibiotic treatment will be indicated. Not all gastrointestinal infections require antibiotics, their use is very specific.
Heatstroke is a very serious case of increased temperature after excessive heating of the body due to being exposed to high temperatures or intense exercise. It is due to an acute thermal regulation failure and is a medical emergency.
Infants and school-age children are more susceptible because of the immaturity of their thermoregulatory mechanisms and because their body is composed mostly of water.
The main causes are excessive exposure to the sun or dry environments, intense physical activities in hot climates or during peak hours of heat, leaving children locked in cars in hot places with little ventilation, little or inadequate hydration in very hot or wet climates.
Some symptoms are dehydration such as wet crying, dry mouth, thick saliva, irritability, exhaustion, weakness, tiredness, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, swollen hands and feet (edema), cramps, fainting, fever greater than 40°C, dry, hot, and irritated skin in fold areas (armpit, neck, elbows, groin), shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, seizures.
For treatment, if the child is unconscious, tight clothing should be removed and immediately go to an emergency room. If the child is conscious, keep them in a cool environment, with adequate ventilation, and hydrate them with electrolytes or oral saline solution. Do not put them in ice water since a sudden drop in temperature is not recommended.
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