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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Temperature fluctuations hit kids hard

 Little Nysha is an active 16-month-old, but has been ill for three days, with a cough and temperature. Her mother blames the freak weather. "Two days back it was hot. Then it turned suddenly cold. Now it is hot again. We can regulate the AC but my baby can't get accustomed to this fluctuation," said Natasha Dhanani, a Kandivli resident. 

    Nysha, however, is not the only child to have been laid low by the weather. Paediatricians across the city are reporting a long line of worried parents at clinics and out-patient departments. Fluctuations in temperature and low temperatures make children younger than five prone to the risk of contracting flu or respiratory ailments, which, if not treated in time, can cause pneumonia due to low immunity. Cold or flu creates an environment easier for the pneumococcal bacteria to trigger infections. 
    Dr Rohit Agarwal, president, Indian Academy of Paediatrics, said changing temperatures and high pollution levels make children ill. "We have more cases of nasal secretion, wheezing and chest congestion. Children, especially those below two years of age, have narrow wind pipes. In cold weather, these contract, 
making it difficult for a child to breathe," he added. 
    Dr Samir Dalwai, paediatrician at Sion Hospital said, "Pollutants can't mix easily in the environment during win
ter and cause allergic reactions especially in children, as their immunity systems are not that strong. " 
    Dr Ashok Anand, head of paediatrics at JJ Hospital said, 
"We are seeing a slight increase in upper and lower respiratory tract problems. If not treated on time, it can lead to pneumonia. A sudden rise of fever is a warning sign."


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