UAE: Children may fall sick in the initial days as schools reopen after summer break, say doctors

Cold, cough, conjunctivitis are among the most common viruses students may get infected with

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Students arrive at Indian High School Dubai on the first day of school opening on Monday. Photo by Shihab
Students arrive at Indian High School Dubai on the first day of school opening on Monday. Photo by Shihab

Published: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Aug 2022, 11:16 PM

As thousands of UAE students return to schools on Monday after a two-month-long summer break, health practitioners are cautioning parents of increased cases of fever, cold and cough among children.

According to medicos, students interacting with each other and coming in contact with other individuals after a long period will trigger the spread of infections as viruses linger on inside the classrooms, desks, tables, or doorknobs.

Healthcare specialists mentioned that cold, cough, stomach bugs, and pink eye (conjunctivitis) are among the most common viruses in school. “Children can also spread bacterial infections like sore throat and skin infections. Lice infestation also can be seen due to close contact in schools,” said Dr Dinesh Naik, Specialist Paediatrics, Al Sharq Hospital, Fujairah.

Dr Dinesh Naik, Specialist Paediatrics
Dr Dinesh Naik, Specialist Paediatrics

Parents should maintain proper hygiene in their ward and doctors reminded that Covid-19 is still around and the flu season is just around the corner. Dr Mohammad Wasim Ahmad, specialist paediatrician, Saudi German Hospital, Sharjah, said, “Hand hygiene must be followed, children should maintain social distancing wherever possible and older children must wear a mask. Not sharing food/toys/gadgets in schools will reduce the chance of infection.”

Dr Mohammad Wasim Ahmad
Dr Mohammad Wasim Ahmad

However, it is recommended to consult a doctor when the child has a fever. “Doctors are the experts who will be able to examine the children, identify the reason behind the fever and guide them further,” said Dr Ahmed.

Doctors share prevention tips

— Washing hands regularly is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.

— Wearing a mask and getting vaccinated helps stop the spread of respiratory viruses like Covid-19 and the flu.

— Make sure your child gets enough sleep which will boost their immune system and its ability to fight infection

— Keep stress at a minimum

— Children should be provided with a healthy, well-balanced diet with the right mix of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and it’s best to avoid junk food and sugary beverages

— Before the winter months, it is advisable to vaccinate children with flu shots, and eligible children should get the Covid-19 jabs.


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