The Paediatric Emergency Centres (PECs) have recorded an increase in the number of newborn babies suffering from fever.
“Sickness due to fever is becoming very prevalent among newborns and young children of one- or two-months-old or those generally below two years these days as we see daily around 15-20 babies in this condition,” Paediatric Emergency Centres (PECs) director Dr Khalid al-Ansari disclosed.
The official, who was unsure of the main causes of the fever afflicting babies, said: “It could be due to some virus or may be some infections.”
“A baby may be said to have fever if the body temperature rises to 38C or above, and there can be many causes for a baby’s fever. Dehydration is one or the infant might be over-bundled with clothes in a relatively warm environment, the rule of thumb is to dress your baby in just one more layer of clothing than you are comfortable in,” he explained.
According to him, the fever cases were quite different from Scarlet fever, which he said was predominant throughout the year.
“Cases of Scarlet fever is prevalent all over the year and any case reported now are not “an outbreak”, we do see cases this time of the year but it is not really new,” he maintained.
Dr al-Ansari also mentioned that other health problems mostly affecting children were heat stroke, gastro enteritis and asthma.
“Heat stroke and exhaustion is also affecting children big time and yearly we see up to 20 cases where children are admitted for observations having suffered heat stroke or exhaustion,” he stated.
The official explained that most of the affected children were those who had played outside in hot weather and those who had been left unattended in cars while parents go shopping or attend to other matters.
“Children also suffer heat stress while they go on long driving with their parents as many of them were severely dehydrated, their temperature could reach more than 42 and some of them have seizures as well, which could lead to serious morbidity,” he said.
Other cases seen on the increase, according to him were normal flu and cough.
“Usually, we see flu and cough throughout the year, but most cases occur during the winter and fall so we are not suppose to see many of it but with the newborns we do see cases, which could be due to infections or some virus,” he maintained.
Apart from illnesses, Dr al-Ansari said an increased number of children were falling victim of road traffic trauma.
“Road traffic trauma involving children is still a big problem in this country as one can visibly notice, while driving around the city, the carefree way many parents allow their children to play in moving cars, shunning the use of seat belts and infants seats. This is not optional, parents have to ensure their children are properly restricted in cars otherwise, they are willingly endangering the lives of their own children,” he pointed out.
“We also see many young children being held by adults in front seat, this is not right as major impacts of road trauma in case of an accident could be very devastating on these children,” he said while also cautioning parents not to allow their kids to stick out their limbs or heads out of moving vehicles.
The official, who called for the enforcement of the road traffic regulation on the use of seat belts and harnesses in vehicles, said: “There has to be a regulation by the Ministry of Interior to ensure that infants are properly kept in vehicles.”
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