It is often observed that Parents consult doctors for their children suffering from fever along with other symptoms like loose motions, vomiting, repeated cough, cold, throat pain, burning urination etc. The main problem is – INFECTION. It can be bacterial, viral or parasitic infections or worm infestations.

The question from Parents most often is – ‘How do my child get repeated infections even though we take necessary hygienic precautions?’

‘Since infection has occurred, what precautions should we take to avoid future events?’

All these questions can be answered with a very interesting analogy of ‘Terrorism’ (Microorganism). They enter the body by Air (Air Force), Surface- Land (Skin and Mouth), Water (ascending from urinary tract). Thus, we have four entry portals for germs – Nose (Air-borne), Mouth (Food and Water borne), Skin (Surface water) and Urinary tract ascending infection.

Contaminated external environment can give rise to infections. Now analogous to our defense system, body has internal defense mechanism known as IMMUNE SYSTEM. Rarely, due to some reason (maybe political or internal conflict), defense systems may get weak. Similarly, due to some medications or diseases, our immune system can also get weakened. In such situations, the child gets more vulnerable to infections. However, infections can occur even with strong immune systems when exposed to significant quantity of microorganisms, and/or during first-time exposure to the same.

Toddlers’ immune system is still at a learning phase with exposure to external environment; there is high probability for them to acquire and manifest the infection. As they grow up, the probability of manifestation of the same reduces as the immune system has now passed the initial learning phase.
Now, since the child has got an infection, What next? How to get rid of it? What precautions should we take to avoid it? In general, as both Parents are working, what should be done when one can’t take leaves often?

All these problems can be easily tackled by following few simple steps –

a. Once an infection occurs, visit a doctor/pediatrician ASAP.
b. Check the severity of the problem
c. Start and Complete the treatment on time.

d. When the infection is seen to be repeated, follow the treatment again.
There are number of other ways which can help your child NOT get repeated infections. Let the child (and his/her immune system) get exposed to infection and learn how to fight it. With this, I am merely suggesting that don’t overprotect the child by not allowing to go to gardens, or to play, not letting them eat certain food items or become a cleanliness freak. Of course, this is all a subjective matter however, it needs to be understood that there is a fine line between being protective and being overprotective.

The next argument over this blog will be – Why should we vaccinate the child if we are to let them get exposed to infections and develop self-immunity?

Check-out the answers in my next blog on Vaccination!!
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