CHILDHOOD CONTAGIOUS DISEASES: HOW TO PREVENT THEM

Bayo Ajibola

CHILDHOOD CONTAGIOUS DISEASES HOW TO PREVENT THEM

Contagious diseases (sometimes referred to as communicable, transmissible or infectious diseases) are diseases that can be spread from one person to another. They are often caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. They can be spread in three ways: by direct contact with aninfected person;by direct contact with objects touched by an infected person, or bydroplets (through sneezing, coughing and talking).

Contagious diseases spread faster among children.  This is because children are always in close proximity toone another in schools, nurseries, and play grounds. In the course of playing, they may hug each other indiscriminately.  Moreover, children’s immune systems are still in the developing stage and aren’t fully mature to fight off infections on their own. Furthermore, children (mostly toddlers) often take items they lay hands on into their mouths. This is their own way of exploring their environment.  Based on the above reasons, we can’t completely eradicate the spread of these diseases among children. However, we can take steps to minimise the spread of the diseases or prevent our little ones from contracting or spreading them.

These contagious diseases are: Ringworm, Chicken Pox; Tuberculosis; Common Cold; Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis); Fifth Disease; Influenza (flu); Stomach Flu; Hand, Mouth and Foot Disease; Head Lice; Measles; Meningitis; German Measles (Rubella); Mumps; Whooping cough (pertussis); Ringworm; Scabies, among others.

PREVENTION

The best and most effective way to prevent contagious diseases and infectionsis to maintain a high level of personal hygiene.  There are some basic rules of hygiene that can’t be overlooked. These go a long way to keep contagious diseases at bay.  It’s advisable that parentsobserve these rules and teach same to their kids. Thesebasic rules are as follows:

• Wash your hands before and after touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

• Always wash your hands before eating.

• Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap or hand wash as soon step into your house, after been outdoors.

• Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap or hand wash anytime you enter a place. In most hospitals, sanitizing hand cleansers are placed close to the doors and at strategic places where patients and visitors can use before entering and when exiting the hospitals.

• Don’t share personal effects or items like cups, spoons, forks, straws, toiletries, towels or pillows.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Alternatively, cough into the fold of your arm (elbow).

• To keep immunity up, ensure your children eat right and rest well.

• Wash your hands before and after using the toilet.

• Wash your hands after handling animals or animal waste.

• Don’t go close to a person infected with a contagious disease.

• Parents should disinfect toys, high-chairs, toilet seats, table tops and allother items that kids come in contact with.

Another most effective way to prevent the onset of some of these diseases is through vaccinations and immunisations. Your doctor can advise you on how and when your child can get these.


Bayo Ajibola

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