Health problems children may face being locked down at home during MCO 3.0 June 2021 in Malaysia
UPDATE 1st June 2021 – As the pandemic situation in Malaysia has deteriorated the government has now imposed MCO 3.0 from 1st – 14th June 2021. This is much needed and good news as kids and their parents are in the safety of their homes once again.
However being indoors for extended periods brings some unexpected medical problems to previously healthy kids.
This was what happened at the end of the last prolonged MCO with bowel, urinary issues and unhealthy weight gain predominating my clinic attendance.
The importance of daily activities & diet
Giving them good amounts of fiber in the form of fruits and vegetables and lots of fluid, preferably water should make them open their bowels normally.
We should also avoid unhealthy snacks, sweets and carbonated, heavily sweetened drinks too (that includes Milo).
Keeping an eye on their toileting habits is crucial.
There were some kids who presented to me recently who only passed urine when they were desperate and unable to hold their urine before rushing to the toilet. There can be periods of 8 to 10 hours from the last time they visited the toilet as they were busy with things on their screens.
The other toileting issue is with bowel opening, ie, constipation.
Doing poos should happen at a minimum, once a day and producing soft toothpaste consistency poop. The problem of constipation occurs across all age groups, even in teenagers, and parents should be aware of their child’s habits and if possible check on what they produce.
Unhealthy weight gain is the result of frequent eating (grazing) or the type food being consumed. Give your kids 3 reasonably portioned healthy meals a day and if needed, fruits as snacks in between meals. This will keep them healthy and prevent excessive weight gain.
Keeping them occupied with physical activities is challenging during these times but this is something that will help with their bowel movements too and to avoid piling on the pounds. There are numerous physical activity videos on offer on YouTube that you can try.
Do NOT delay visiting a hospital if your child displays serious symptoms
Hospitals are open to children who require medical care such as for appendicitis or even for conditions that has been there for longer periods such as kidney obstructions. Some of these condition will deteriorate further if timely action is not taken.
In the above 2 scenarios, an appendicitis could lead to a perforated appendicitis and you child could get very sick.
For the blocked kidney, the function of the kidney will slowly deteriorate and hence the advice of your doctor of what should be done should be heeded.
The situation in Malaysia with the Covid 19 now is far worse than the first time round.
However hospitals follow strict protocols and are geared to avoid risks to all patients.
You can safely visit and should visit a hospital with your child if your he or she requires medical attention.