Dengue in kids

pregnancy and baby care

Dengue is very common nowadays mainly during the rainy season. It was considered one of the deadliest diseases many years ago as there was no treatment discovered till then. People used to die due to dengue fever. It’s symptoms are very strong and drastic. The death rate was very highly seen in pregnant women, infants or kids, and older people as their immunity is weak. But today, thanks to all the scientists and doctors who have discovered the right medicine and treatment to treat dengue fevers in all ages of men and women very quickly. Nowadays, it is not a life-threatening diesease at all but still, you have to take proper care and get the right treatment done from the doctor as soon as possible.
You may have heard a few cases of dengue in elders in monsoon seasons. But you may never have heard of toddlers,  of pregnant women, or kids getting dengue right?. I also thought the same throughout my journey until me and my 3-year-old son got dengue fever simultaneously. At that time I was 6 months pregnant too. Those 20 days to one month was a very tough time for me, my son, and my family. We have gone through so many things. I will discuss each and everything in detail below so that you may understand the symptoms, treatment, and emergency situations when you or your kid get dengue.

 

What is a Dengue Fever?

It is just like any other mosquito-born illness like Zika, malaria, typhoid, and chikungunya. These mosquitoes look very small but they can be life-threatening if they bite while carrying these viruses. Monsoon means many diseases mainly in a country like India. During rainy seasons, insects, birds animals, and mosquito find a place to hide from the rain. And as there are standing waters all around, water born and mosquito born diseases spread very fast.
Dengue is just like any other fever with many other flu-like symptoms that you get when an infected mosquito bites you. It can last from 3 to 7 days depending on the severity of the disease. The mosquito that carries this virus is very different than other mosquitoes. Their legs are long and they have a white shade on them. They usually bite you in the morning and in the afternoon hours but not at night. A person infected with this disease cannot pass on the infection to others by touch, breath, or flu. It can only pass through blood. If the mosquito that had already bitten a person with dengue fever, bites another person, then only you will get dengue.

Symptoms of Dengue in kids:-

  • Severe Headache.
  • Fever up to 102 degrees Celcius or more.
  • Chills during fever. Chills mean shaking or vibration of the body due to cold.
  • Sudden or full sweating after the temperature comes down.
  • Red rashes on the body parts if the disease becomes severe.
  • Severe Itching on hands and legs after fever.
  • Severe eye pain or itchy eyes.
  • Dizziness.
  • Low appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Drop in platelets count.
  • Muscle and joint pains.
Mild symptoms of dengue fever clear up within 5 to 7 days of proper treatment. Severe cases can last more and cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, internal bleeding, shock, severe stomach pain, continuous vomiting, restlessness, blood in urine, vomit or stools, blood from nose and gums, and even death if not figured out early or didn’t get proper treatment.

 

My experience with a 3 year old kid:-

 

Place
It was in the month of October, the year 2022. This is my favorite month as I was born in this month. Around this time, I was just 6 and a half months pregnant. My pregnancy symptoms like nausea, headaches, leg cramps, etc reduced a lot. I was having a happy routine with my family. My 3-year-old son was going to nursery and I was busy with my work and household chores. It was rainy season at that time in Hyderabad and we all know how mosquitos enjoy their life at this moment by entering everyone’s home and playing with food, water, and people around. My house was a bit small and had no proper ventilation, so there were more mosquitos in the daytime. At night we used a mosquito net and a mosquito bat while sleeping so we didn’t have any problem. My mom was also with me at that time as she came to help me with my household chores as I had low-lying placenta complications in my pregnancy.
Every morning when I sit on a chair in the hall, I felt mosquitos biting my legs and toes. I dint bother as I thought dengue is something that we don’t get easily. No one in my family ever got dengue fever. So this was totally out of my mind and I ignored it. One fine afternoon after having my lunch, I started feeling sick. I had a headache and full weakness. I thought these were pregnancy symptoms and was still doing my work. As time passed, my body temperature slightly increased by 99 to 100 degrees Celcius. My son was in school at that time and I was waiting for him for lunch. When he came home, he was crying and getting irritated. His body temperature was a little warm, so I checked his temperature and to my surprise, he also got a fever of around 99 degrees Celsius. I thought we might have gotten a viral fever as these were common during the rainy season. I gave him paracetamol and lunch.
After giving paracetamol he slept and the fever came down. After 6 hours, his body temperature slightly increased again. He didn’t have any other symptoms like cold, cough, or low appetite. He just had a fever and was still playing around. But my fever was becoming uncontrollable at night and in the morning I was admitted in the hospital. My son was also with me in the hospital with my mom. At that time he still had a slight fever and was getting irritated. I was very tensed about the time. I thought it is a normal viral fever and will go away after 3 days. We had a pediatrician in the hospital where I was admitted. So we had a follow up with him to see if everything is normal with my kid. He also gave paracetamol and was told to wait for 3 days. If the fever doesn’t go away, he told us to start antibiotic for 5 days.
So I was admitted to the hospital for 5 days as my blood tests showed dengue positive and my son was suffering with high fever at our home with my mom. We started his antibiotic course as the fever didn’t go away after 3 days.

 

 

I just wanted to go home as soon as possible to see my son. But my doctor didn’t allow me as I was pregnant and full recovery from dengue is very necessary for the unborn baby. If dengue gets worse, it can pass on to the child and can also cause the death of the unborn baby. So I had to sacrifice my time for my baby. Since I was not there, my son didn’t get proper treatment at home and he fell very sick. When I came home after 5 days, I was shocked to see him. He had a full cold and a light cough. His eyes were swollen and red, but still, he was smiling and playing around when I saw him. My son is always the same. Though he had so much pain inside, he doesn’t easily express it outside. He always wants to smile and make others happy. That is why everyone loves him so much.
But as time passed by his fever increased again and symptoms became worse. He started vomiting and his temperature was not coming down though we gave him paracetamol and antibiotics continuously. So I decided to admit him to hospital as there was no other way he could recover at home. That night at 10 pm we went to the hospital and admitted him for 2 days. After admission he started feeling good and healthy. He got discharged after one day but he had to take injections for 5 days twice daily. So we had to come to the hospital day and night for his injections. We went continuously to the hospital for 3 days. On the 4th day, since his cantalope became loose due to continuous movement of hand, the nurse tried to remove it and apply a new one. But this time, my son didn’t allow them to do it. He was crying a lot and getting irritated. I was sent out as the nurses thought that children doesn’t listen to anyone if their mother is with them. I was waiting outside the room and listening to his cries. Those nurses were very rude to my son and at last they didn’t succeed in putting that. We were also tired of watching our son cry and called the pediatrician.

Since my son didn’t have any fever for 3 days, the doctor told to stop injections and told to give antibiotic syrup for 5 days. So we happily came back home and started his antibiotic course. On the 5th day of his antibiotic course, he got high fever again. Now we didn’t understand anything. We though the doctor didn’t give proper treatment and went to another pediatrician that same day. He changed the antibiotic syrup and the dosage. He told to give this for 5 days and if the fever doesn’t come down after 3 days, he told to come to the hospital. Within two day, the fever came down to 99 degree Celsius. We were happy that he doesn’t have any fever now. But his antibiotic course was still going on.
And now suddenly my son started feeling fatique and dizzy. He stopped eating and drinking and was always on my lap. He didn’t even pass motion for more than 3 days. He was only drinking water or juice or some chocolate. Whenever I used to feed him food, or give him water he used to say no, no, no. He just used to lay on my lap and watch cartoon. I was literally crying seeing all this. Never imagined my son would suffer like this. He is so small and can’t even talk or express the pain that he is feeling inside. He kept on murmuring something but I couldn’t understand.
 One afternoon, he was really trying to say me something. He was fully constipated and was trying to potty but, it was not coming out as it became hard inside. He took me to bathroom and shower the toilet. I was also trying to make him potty but he didn’t understand anything as he was not potty trained yet. He cried a lot telling me that he wanted to potty in his words but I was so foolish that I didn’t understand him. I should have used a stool softener as it was already available at home. I didn’t know that we can use it along with antibiotics or when your kid has a fever. I thought he was not feeling well and thatswhy he was crying and getting irritated. So I took him outside and bought juice and chocolate for him. He was happy after seeing his favourite juice and had some chocolate and juice. But he didn’t have food though I forced him to eat. He slept for sometime and after waking up, again the same process started. No food, no water, feeling weak, etc. Now I was 100 percent sure that he needs to be admitted in the hospital.
We called the doctor, but he was on vacation. So we took him to another hospital and told him all his symptoms. They told maybe he had dengue and took blood test to confirm and started giving glucose that same night. He tested dengue positive and his platelets count started decreasing. We all know how it feels when your son is going through so much suffering in such a small age. Whenever those memories come to me, i still cry a lot and pray that this shouldn’t happen again to my son or to anyone. He was kept in the hospital for 3 days with glucose and antibiotics. Since he didn’t do the motion for 3 days, they did edema to him. In this process, a liquid medicine is sent inside the bump hole with the help of a suction tube. This liquid softens the stool and it comes out all of a sudden.

 

His health started improving slowly after one day of admission. Doctor told to give more liquids so we used to give him fresh fruit juices and fresh hospital canteen food little by little. On the third day, he was fully active and his platelets count also started increasing slowly.  We came home on the fourth day happily. By now, my son lost so much weight and he was looking very weak. We thought everything is over now and he is completely cured. We took him to a barber Shop to get his haircut as his hair grew long and was dirty. He cried a lot during haircut and headbath as he hates these two things. Due to do much crying and weakness, he got a high fever again at night. I called his pediatrician and asked him if I should come to the hospital. He told me to give him paracetamol and wait for 3 days. So we waited and after 2 days, he was normal again.
He started gaining a little weight after 2 weeks and was feeling healthy and active. I gave him bevon syrup to boost his immunity for 2 months.

Emergency situations in which you should rush to the hospital:-

  • If your kid is not eating or drinking anything since morning.
  • He didn’t pass stool or has constipation for more than 3 days even after giving him stool softeners like Duphalac syrup or MuOut powder.
  • He has a fever of more than 103 degree Celsius.
  • He is Continuously crying and getting irritated.
  • His Fever is not coming down after giving paracetamol.
  • He is Continuously vomitting.
  • He has loose motions or diarrhea.
  • He got red rashes on his body and face.

How to prevent Dengue at home:-

  1. Use mosquito nets or beds for babies and kids during their nap time that are very easily available in the market nowadays.
  2. Try to stay in a mosquito-free area. This means the area around your house should be clean.
  3. Closed houses or tiny houses without any ventilation have more chances of mosquitos coming inside. Always try to stay in a spacious house that has trees and proper ventilation around.
  4. If you are living in a mosquito-prone area then please make sure that all your windows and doors have a mosquito net.
  5. You can also use mosquito repellent creams like odomas if you are going to a mosquito-prone area or while sleeping at night.
  6. Many people also use mosquito rackets, and coils to keep mosquitos away from their homes.
  7. Always keep your home neat and clean. Don’t allow any standing water in your home or near your home.
  8. Let your kids wear full clothes at night and in the morning if there are many mosquitoes.
  9. Use air conditioning or full-power fans to avoid mosquito bites.
  10. Avoid keeping a bunch of clothes on sofas, beds, chairs, or in any other room. Always keep them in closed cupboards after folding and ironing.

 

Useful home remedies to treat dengue:-

  1. Give plenty of water or any other fluids to your kid every hour. This is very necessary to recover fast from dengue. Liquids include fruit juices, buttermilk, soups, warm water, and soft mashed food.
  2. Another best and secrete food to increase platelet count recommended by doctors in dengue fever is coconut water and kiwi fruit.
  3. Kids can have non-veg after one week of fully recovering from dengue. You can also give eggs to your little one if he doesn’t have a fever.
  4. After recovery from dengue, your pediatrician will give your child an immunity booster syrup or a multivitamin syrup for 15 days to one month. Make sure you give them daily.


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