Monsoon and flooding have become synonymous these days. Almost after every downpour, there is news about flooding. This inundation, however, not just halts normal life but also poses a huge threat to the health and wellbeing of our community.
Monsoon rains and floods can damage water and sanitation infrastructure, leading to the contamination of drinking water supply and hence increasing the risk of water-borne diseases like jaundice, typhoid, cholera, etc.
Doctors witness a spurt in water-borne diseases every year among children during monsoon. “I see a 2-fold rise in cases of food poisoning, typhoid, diarrhoea, viral fever among school-going children during monsoon compared to the rest of the year. As such, taking care of a child’s health during monsoon is challenging, and parents need to be careful else these diseases will find ways to sneak onto their kids at some point” says Dr. Sheenu Gupta (MBBS, DCH, DNB, MNAMS), Consulting Paediatrician, Navi Mumbai.
The World Health Organisation estimates that globally 4.8% diseases and 3.7% deaths attributable to the environment are due to water-borne diseases*.
“Water is a basic component for human survival, and during monsoon this water can turn into a breeding ground for water-borne diseases, hence one needs to be very careful about what they eat and drink outside their homes” iterates Dr. Sheenu Gupta.
Below are some precautions and tips from Dr. Sheenu Gupta to prevent water-borne diseases during monsoon:
Teach your children not to drink water from unknown sources – Always pack a bottle of water for your child and educate them about the health hazards of drinking unclean water.
Boiled water may not be as safe as you think – Properly boiling water will remove disease-causing bacteria and virus, but it has no effect on chlorine content, silt deposits or the inorganic impurities present in water. Filtering boiled water through a fine cloth may solve the purpose, but it is extremely cumbersome and not a dependable solution. Moreover, if the water vessel is left lying around open or with a loosely fitted lid, then there are chances that bacteria present in the air may enter and contaminate the water again making it unfit and no longer safe to drink. So, do not keep it open.
Buy water from reputed companies – If you need to buy water, then opt for bottled water from reputed companies. Most reputed bottled water companies follow stringent purification and packaging systems along with numerous quality tests to ensure purity in every drop. Hence, you can be assured that their water is safe, pure, and healthy.
Your RO filter or other filters at home may not be enough – RO or reverse osmosis is a purification technology that removes soluble solids from water. In doing so, it also eliminates the essential minerals like magnesium and potassium that are good for health. These minerals from water are essential to maintain a good bone, heart, and kidney health.
Other forms of filters such as carbon filters or water ionizers may only remove the large particles from the water and not completely destroy disease-causing bacteria. Hence, make an attempt to consume bottled water with added minerals during the monsoon season to maintain a proper mineral balance in the body.
Completely avoid unbranded, locally packaged water bottle – For all you know these may be just filled with contaminated tap water and sealed in unsanitized and previously used bottles!
Monsoon is a perfect playground for water-borne diseases, therefore ensuring necessary steps to provide adequately purified water from reputable sources will protect your kids from infection!
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