Monsoon mania: It’s raining illnesses, students bear brunt

BENGALURU: With the monsoon in full swing many children are falling prey to various diseases and this is taking a toll on their academic performance. Severe flu, dengue, typhoid, malaria and chicken pox are some of the reasons that prevent children from attending classes, apart from regular cold and common cough. This has worried many parents worried about the academic performance of their wards.

“Seasonal infections such as dengue, malaria and common flu are common occurrences among children that we see during the rainy season,” Dr Yogesh Kumar Gupta, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Fortis Hospital.
City doctors claim that seasonal infections are the main reasons for the absenteeism, as in some cased they even get hospitalised for a week or even more days.

A study by Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal also suggests that infections were associated with a reduced probability of completing ninth grade and scoring less in other tests during academics. Dr Bhaskar Shenoy, HoD (Pediatrics), Manipal Hospitals said, “Frequent infections can affect the academic performance of a child. There can also be reasons like change of food habits. Parents are giving more of processed food, which in such environment can lead to newer infections. A child who gets infection will end up being frequently absent from school and the vigour to compete with others also comes down.”

Kavita Sanjay, a parent of Samyama, from Euro school said, “My daughter recently had a blood infection due to which she couldn’t attend classes for four days. As she missed a few portions, she is not doing well in the test, her focus and preparations have also suffered. We can’t blame her as she has barely recovered from an illness. A lot of parents complain about this during this season and despite precautions, infections do happen.”

Dr Yogesh also added that schools often act as a hub of transmission of various infections, as somebody at some point may have one infection or the other. However, most children suffer from viral and bacterial respiratory infection and food related infections. “In addition there are factors such as personal hygiene, cleanliness of surroundings, garbage disposal, all of which lead to infections in kids. These infections have an impact on the children’s school absenteeism as they lead to morbidity and take time to recover from the disease,” he said.

Health experts suggest that it is better not to send children to school if they are not well, which will help them recover faster and also prevent its transmission to other children. A good diet will help the child fight diseases because that is the best immunity booster. Lastly, make sure your child has been vaccinated against diseases which are preventable, like typhoid, chicken pox, common flu.

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