Pune: A considerable number of children encounter viral fever apart from respiratory issues, attributed to both firecracker explosions and the consumption of unhealthy food following Diwali. It's imperative for parents to ensure that their child observes an environmentally friendly Diwali and adheres to a nutritious diet.
Dr Vrushali Bichkar, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Lullanagar, Pune said, “Loud noises and bright lights can overstimulate their senses, leading to headaches, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. The negative impact on their health is further exacerbated by unhealthy food habits commonly observed during this festive season. With the abundance of sweets and fried snacks available during Diwali, it comes as no surprise that children tend to indulge in excessive consumption of these treats. This overconsumption can have dire consequences on their overall health and well-being. High intake of processed sugar leads to weight gain, and tooth decay, and increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes later in life. Similarly, heavy consumption of oily foods can result in digestive issues like acidity, bloating, heartburn, and indigestion. We have observed a 5 to 10 per cent rise in viral fever. more compared to the previous year. Common complaints which children are coming with Cough cold throat soreness, fever vomiting loose motions.”
After Diwali, children frequently report diverse health issues resulting from the widespread use of firecrackers. It's not unusual for kids to experience respiratory problems like asthma or bronchitis due to exposure to elevated levels of pollutants released during fireworks.
“The post-Diwali period sees a surge in bronchitis cases in school children aged 5-15 whereas, asthma cases are increasing due to pollution. The cases are rising compared to the previous year. The cause can be attributed to pollution added to climate change. Children are coming with common complaints of cough and breathing difficulties. These conditions can have lifelong implications on their respiratory health. The combination of polluted air from firecrackers and the accumulation of hazardous particles created a perfect breeding ground for respiratory infections, making children more susceptible. It serves as a sobering reminder for parents to ensure that their children are safe. Prioritise measures such as minimising exposure to pollution and fireworks smoke, wearing masks, and avoiding dust, pollen, animal fur, or whatever triggers breathing problems should be watched for and monitored. Take medication as prescribed by the doctor only,” said Dr Samrat Shah, Internal Medicine Expert, Apollo Spectra, Pune.
“To ensure that the little ones enjoy a healthy post-Diwali season, it becomes imperative for parents to take proactive measures. Limiting exposure to firecrackers through organised community celebrations or opting for eco-friendly alternatives can significantly reduce the negative impact on children's health. Additionally, encouraging moderation when it comes to eating sweets and fried snacks will help them maintain a balanced diet despite the temptations around them. Add nuts, seeds, and jaggery to the sweets to make them healthy. By making small but significant changes in the approach towards celebrating Diwali with kids', it is possible to celebrate a safer and healthier Diwali,” concluded Dr Bichkar.