By Dr. Celeste Gomez
It’s been extremely hot, and it’s unavoidable to go in and out of places with air-conditioning systems. Is it true that you will get sick from the quick change of temperatures and weather? and if yes, what should we do to avoid getting sick, especially for our children who love playing outside this summer season?
It has been an old Filipino belief that when children get sick during the summer time, it would always be attributed to the heat. However, to us pediatricians, it is actually the summer time season that we experience the LEAST amount of children getting sick with the usual flu or cold.
I definitely agree that living in a very humid and tropical country like the Philippines makes us all want to blast up our air-conditioning units at home, or choose to stay in public places like malls. However, the more you are exposed to numerous people in a cold place, the more viruses can circulate.
In theory, viruses like influenza and thousands of other viruses that can cause fever, cough and colds thrive in cold temperatures. This is why during the seasonal changes – the transition of dry summer to wet rainy season – we begin to see more children and adults getting sick. Our body’s natural tendency to kill that virus inside us is to heat up our body. Thus, giving us a fever.
Having a fever is a natural signal for us to slow down, make sure we have bedrest, and to regulate the heat by drinking lots of fluids. It is best practiced to hold off on the antipyretics like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen unless the fever is very high (Temp 38 degrees celsius and above) and if our children are very uncomfortable to the extent of not being able to eat or drink fluids.
So how do we avoid this? Make sure you screen your children’s playmates and make sure they do not get exposed to those who are currently having cough, colds or fever. Sometimes, even sharing toys from a child who has a cold can also infect another child. Your child will not be sick immediately, but the virus will incubate in your child for about 3-7 days on average. Once your child’s immune system decreases due to fatigue, poor diet or poor sleeping habits, symptoms of the virus shall start appearing.
Avoidance of exposure to viruses like colds and fever will definitely lessen your chance of getting sick and they can have all the fun under the sun!
Dr. Celeste Gomez, M.D. , DPPS is a Visiting Consultant in The Medical City and an Active Consultant in Victor R. Potenciano Medical Center. A graduate of the University of the Philippines, College of Medicine, she is currently a Diplomate of the Philippine Pediatric S ciety. As a member of the IFM with a medical background, Dr. Celeste balances conventional medicine with appropriate and in-depth personal nutritional and lifestyle advice. She enjoys regular tennis sessions, swimming, and windsurfing.