Safeguarding Your Children During Harmattan

Safeguarding Your Children During Harmattan

By Itunu Azeez Kareem

31 December 2023   |  
1:00 pm

Harmattan has already come upon us, ushering in chilly weather and health challenges for our little ones. Ever wondered why children are more susceptible to sickness during harmattan? Factors like lower immunity, exposure to the cold, respiratory issues, and poor ventilation play a role. But fear not! Early recognition of symptoms and quick medical help…

Harmattan has already come upon us, ushering in chilly weather and health challenges for our little ones. Ever wondered why children are more susceptible to sickness during harmattan? Factors like lower immunity, exposure to the cold, respiratory issues, and poor ventilation play a role.

But fear not! Early recognition of symptoms and quick medical help can make a big difference. Let’s explore 5 major illnesses that can affect your child’s health during harmattan.

Influenza
Harmattan brings the flu, with symptoms such as fever, cold, cough, sore throat, and body aches. Kids, especially those with weaker immune systems, are more at risk.

Common Cold
Everyone’s familiar with the common cold during harmattan, often leading to viral fever. Kids may suffer for one to two weeks, requiring intense comfort and care to prevent extreme weakness.

Stomach Flu
Caused by norovirus, this viral intestinal infection can last two days to a week. Watch for symptoms like watery diarrhoea, vomiting, mild fever, fatigue, and headache.

Harmattan Skin Conditions
Dry air and chilly temperatures can cause skin issues like eczema, flare-ups, and chapped lips. Regular moisturisation and keeping skin covered reduce the risks.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Common in kids under two years, RSV presents symptoms like a runny nose, fever, congestion, rapid breathing, and cough. Symptoms may last up to three weeks before recovery.

Small son sits on strong dad’s shoulders showing biceps. African families enjoy activity games at home, a healthy fit lifestyle, two superheroes, vitamins for adults and children

Despite harmattan challenges, proactive steps can protect your child’s health. Encourage good hygiene, ensure proper nutrition, maintain a balanced indoor environment, and timely vaccinations to prevent major harmattan illnesses.

Prevention Strategies
While it is difficult to stop kids from playing and enjoying the holidays that come with the festive periods, here are simple but effective ways to keep them safe and thereby we all enjoy a healthy Harmattan period as we say here.

Good Hygiene Practices: Encourage regular handwashing and cleanliness to minimize the spread of viruses.

Nutrition: Ensure a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to boost your child’s immune system.

Moisturisation: Combat Harmattan’s dry air by regularly moisturising your child’s skin to prevent skin issues.

Balanced Indoor Environment: Maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and ventilation to reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

Timely Vaccination: Stay up-to-date with vaccinations to provide additional protection against common harmattan illnesses.

By implementing these preventive measures, you empower your child to enjoy a healthier and more resilient harmattan season.



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