December, 17 2011 11:38:00

More kids have respiratory problems in cold weather


A medical worker checks a child suffering from a respiratory disease. The number of respiratory patients has increased due to cold weather. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HCM CITY — Parents should dress children up warmly and watch out for signs they are contracting respiratory diseases, doctors say, as HCM City experiences a spell of cold weather.

Increasing numbers of children have been hospitalised with respiratory problems in recent days because of the weather, and this trend will continue if the cold spell persists, the doctors warned.

More than 400 children have been brought to HCM City's two major paediatric hospitals every day over the last few days with respiratory diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia and allergic rhinitis.

Dr Tran Anh Tuan, head of the Paediatric Hospital No.1's Respiratory Diseases Ward, said that when the weather becomes cold, the number of children with such diseases visiting his hospital increased nearly 20 per cent compared to normal weather.

Around 170 children, most of them under five years of age, have been admitted to the hospital with serious symptoms, he added.

Dr Tran Thi Thu Loan, head of the Paediatric Hospital No.2's Respiratory Disease Ward, said they had 260 children admitted with various respiratory problems, most of them under two years old. When the weather changes from hot to cold, children, especially those with weak immune systems, are more likely to catch respiratory diseases.

Tuan said if the weather of the last few days continued, the number of child patients with respiratory diseases could increase.

Besides dressing their children up in warm clothes, parents should pay attention to their children's breathing, he said.

If their breathing is quicker than normal, they could get have some respiratory condition like asthma or pneumonia, he said.

If the children have symptoms like sleeping at odd times of the day and not wanting to breast-feed, and if they have high temperatures for more than three days in succession, parents should take them to the hospital and have their health checked, he said.

They should ensure that the children get enough nutrition and vitamins, especially Vitamin C, in order to increase their resistance, Tuan said.

Doctors at the Da Nang Obstetrics-Paediatrics Centre also said they have admitted more than 880 children last week, most of them with bronchitis or pneumonia.

In Ha Noi, the Bach Mai Hospital's Paediatric Ward has been receiving 200 children ever day with respiratory infections as well as diarrhoea caused by Rotavirus. Over the last days, the hospital has admitted about 100 children for treatment.

Since the ward has only 60 beds, the patients have had to share them, doctors said.

The number of children hospitalised with asthma because of the cold weather has also increased in the last few days, they added. — VNS

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