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Summer vacation: Prevent common seasonal illnesses in children

Updated: Jul 28, 2022 Print
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1.Prickly heat
Prickly heat is a skin disease that occurs when you sweat excessively due to high temperature and humidity, and the sweat ducts are blocked, which leaves the sweat trapped in the skin. Prickly heat mostly appears in sweaty parts of one’s body, such as the scalp, forehead, neck, chest, back and wrinkled areas.

Children sweat easily due to their vigorous metabolism and liveliness. If the sweat is not dried in time, the sweat ducts can be easily blocked and thus prickly heat occurs.

Prickly heat starts with red skin, followed by pinhead sized red papules with surrounding redness, some in dense patches, some in small pustules.
Expert advice
Wear light clothing: Children have fast metabolism and are not as afraid of the cold as people often believe. It is recommended to choose light and loose-fitting cotton clothes for them and change sweaty clothes in time.

Use air conditioner: Maintaining indoor ventilation reduces sweating and facilitates sweat evaporation. It is recommended to use air conditioners when the weather is hot. Room temperature between 25 and 27 ℃ is suitable for children and can reduce the occurrence of skin diseases such as prickly heat.

Take a shower: After sweating, children should have a rest and take a bath/shower right away to keep their skin clean and dry. The ideal bath temperature is between 36 and 38 ℃.

Change sweaty clothes: When the child is sweating, the caregiver should dry the sweat and change their clothes.

Prickly heat can quickly heal when the environment is cool. If your child is experiencing severe prickly heat and has symptoms of infection, please seek medical treatment immediately.

2.Cold caused by air conditioning
Some families keep the air conditioner on all day long in summer, with poor ventilation in rooms. If the air conditioner is not frequently cleaned, the room will be filled with bad air, and children with weak immunity will be easily infected by viruses and bacteria.

If the room temperature is too low, children can also easily catch cold just by repeatedly entering and leaving air-conditioned rooms.

Expert advice
1. The temperature of the air conditioner should be set at around 26℃. Put a basin of water indoors to maintain humidity.

2. If the child is sweating, the sweat should be dried before he/she enters the air-conditioned room.

3. When the air conditioner is on, don't let children frequently enter and leave the room.

4. Open windows for ventilation every day to keep the indoor air fresh.

5. Let children exercise moderately in the morning or evening to strengthen their body and improve their immunity.

Intensive exposure to ultraviolet rays can easily harm children's skin, and cause solar dermatitis due to inadequate sun protection. The risk of skin cancer in adulthood will increase if they are exposed to the sun for a long time. Therefore, it’s important for parents and caregivers to choose the correct way of sun protection for children.

Expert advice
1. Physical protection is the first choice for children
Let your child wear a wide brimmed sun hat and sunglasses, or use a sunshade umbrella. They should also wear sun-protective clothes when going out. These physical sun protection methods are the first choice for children. They can wear long sleeved swimsuits when going swimming. The best time to go out is before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., and try to choose a cool place.

2. Choose sunscreens intended for children only
Sunscreen is not recommended for children under six months of age.
For children aged six months to two years old, covering should still be the main way of sun protection, physical sunscreen products, such as those containing zinc oxide, can also be a safe choice.
It is recommended that the SPF index of sunscreen for children should not exceed 15. Apply it 15 minutes before outdoor activities, and reapply every 2 to 3 hours.

3.Don't wear too little
On hot summer days, many parents like to have their children wear as little as possible when they go out, such as sleeveless vests and shorts, which may easily give rise to sunburns as the children’s skin is largely exposed to the sunlight.

4.Conduct moderate exercise
In summer, the ultraviolet rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. During this period, children should not be allowed to engage in outdoor activities. Sunbathing one to three times a day for about 10 minutes each time can satisfy the daily requirement for vitamin D.

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