Preventing Dengue Fever in Children

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Preventing Dengue Fever in Children
Preventing Dengue Fever in Children

Dengue fever cases tend to increase every rainy season. In order for children to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that cause dengue fever, there are several steps parents can take

Based on data from the Ministry of He alth of the Republic of Indonesia, there were 95,893 dengue fever sufferers throughout 2020. Around 52% of them were children aged 0–14 years.

Preventing Dengue Fever in Children - Alodokter

Symptoms of Dengue Fever in Children

Dengue fever is caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Symptoms of dengue fever will usually appear 4-10 days after being bitten by the mosquito.

The symptoms of dengue fever in children that usually appear include:

  • High fever (40°C)
  • Headache
  • Muscle, bone or joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain behind eyes
  • Skin rash or easy bruising
  • Bleeding gums or nosebleeds

Dengue Fever Prevention

Dengue fever can cause internal bleeding, organ damage, shock, and even death. In order for children to avoid this disease, the best protection for them is to keep them away from mosquito bites.

Some ways that parents can do to prevent mosquito bites in children are:

1. Get dengue vaccine

Since 2016, the dengue vaccine has been officially circulated in Indonesia. This vaccine can be given to children aged 9-16 years, both those who have suffered from dengue fever and those who have not. The dengue vaccine was given 3 times with a distance of 6 months.

Although it cannot completely prevent dengue fever, the dengue vaccine can relieve the symptoms that arise if a child later gets dengue fever, so the risk of a child needing to be hospitalized will be lower.

Unfortunately, the dengue vaccine has not been included in the national immunization program so it cannot be obtained at the Puskesmas. Currently, dengue vaccine can only be obtained in clinics, hospitals, or pediatricians' practices.

2. Eradicating mosquito nests

To prevent mosquito bites that cause dengue fever in children, the Ministry of He alth of the Republic of Indonesia has launched the 3M Plus Mosquito Nest Eradication program, namely:

  • Drain and clean places that often become water reservoirs, such as bathtubs, water towers, buckets, aquariums, and other water reservoirs
  • Closing various water reservoirs and burying used items that have the potential to become mosquito nests
  • Reusing (recycling) used goods that have the potential to become a breeding ground for dengue fever mosquitoes
  • Keeping fish that eat mosquito larvae in water reservoirs
  • Installing the screens on the windows and ventilation of the house
  • Giving larvicides to water reservoirs that are difficult to drain
  • Repair clogged drains and gutters
  • Planting mosquito repellent plants
  • Turn on the air conditioner or fan
  • Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks

3. Using mosquito repellent

Using mosquito repellent products can also help children avoid dengue fever. Many mosquito repellent products on the market contain the active ingredient DEET (diethyltoluamide).

Mosquito repellent products with a DEET content of up to 10% are considered safe for use by children aged 6 months to 12 years.For children aged 6 months to 2 years, this mosquito repellent product should only be used once a day. As for children aged 2-12 years a maximum of 3 times a day.

However, it should be noted that mosquito repellent products containing DEET should not be used daily on children for more than a month.

If you are worried about using chemicals on children, you can choose mosquito repellent products that contain natural ingredients, such as lemongrass plant extract. You can use lemongrass plants that contain rhodinol compounds as an alternative to natural mosquito repellents.

Lemongrass plant extract is thought to be as effective as mosquito repellent containing DEET in preventing mosquito bites, making it a safer alternative to mosquito repellent products for children.

However, pay attention to the recommended use on the packaging of mosquito repellent products to ensure age limits, and to get optimal results.

Let's protect our children from mosquito bites by implementing appropriate and safe dengue fever prevention measures. If your little one has symptoms of dengue fever, you should immediately take him to a doctor or hospital for further examination and treatment.

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