Protecting Your Kids Against Waterborne Diseases



One of the major things every homemaker must consider is having clean and safe water at home. You need clean water for drinking, sanitation and hygiene to promote healthy living and sustain life. Without clean water, waterborne illnesses can pose a serious threat to your family.


According to UNICEF, children’s toll on waterborne diseases is extremely high. In fact, statistics show that in every 20 seconds, one child dies from a water-related illness. That is about 4,400 children per day.


Waterborne illnesses are spread when water is contaminated by disease-causing organisms. The most common types of organisms are: bacteria, protozoa, virus and intestinal parasites. They enter the body then the person drinks contaminated water, exposes open wounds to contaminated water, or drinks water infested with parasitic eggs.


Here are the common water-related health problems every parent should watch out for:



Around 1.5 million children over the world die from diarrhea, making it second to pneumonia as the leading cause of death among children under 5. UNICEF records reveal that it even kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles altogether.


Diarrhea is defined by having watery stools of more than three times per day. It is actually not a disease, but a symptom of a gastrointestinal infection caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses from contaminated water. Constant elimination of fluid from the body causes dehydration and may result in death and other severe complications.



This is caused by a protozoa which can be acquired from drinking untreated water, sewage, and water with flies in it. It is transmitted when one touches contaminated water and then puts his or her hand inside the mouth. The symptoms include abdominal discomfort, fever, diarrhea, fatigue and possible weight loss.



This bacteria-causing disease is known to be the most rapidly fatal illnesses ever known. It is transmitted by drinking water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms include having very watery diarrhea, vomiting, and rapid pulse that may result in death in 12-18 hours.



Hepatitis A virus can manifest itself in food and in water. Drinking or eating contaminated food can cause Hepatitis A. Although unpleasant, the symptoms of this disease are only acute. It includes fever, fatigue, itching, abdominal pain and jaundice. Jaundice is when the eye and skin color turns yellowish because of high breakdown of hemoglobin, the principal component of red blood cells.


Simple ways on how to prevent your children from getting waterborne diseases:


  • Use purifiers at home. Using De Anza water filtration and purification systems  are a lot more safer than drinking bottled water. Bottled water do not have to meet EPA standards unlike tap water.
  • Make it a habit to check the expiration date of all packed food or bottled drinks before consumption. Always check your kids’ drinks before letting them drink them.
  • Wash hands properly. See to it that you and your children wash hands with soap and water before eating and drinking. Your hands might have touched contaminated fluid that might transfer to the food.
  • Cut nails. Children’s nails should be cut short once every three days (but not by biting please!). Do not allow their nails to be breeding grounds of harmful organisms.
  • Clean drinking containers regularly. As much as possible, wash your containers everyday. This way, unwanted microorganisms will not be given a chance to breed.
  • Be cautious when eating or drinking from roadside vendors. You are not sure if the water used in milkshakes, fruit juices and other drinks from roadside vendors are that safe.
  • Keep cooked food in proper containers. This is to prevent the exposure of food and drinks to flies and other harmful organisms.
  • Avoid sharing utensils. Make your child bring his or her own utensils to school. Sharing utensils with classmates makes your child at risk of disease transmission.
  • See doctor if symptoms occur. Consult the pediatrician if your child begins to show signs of weakness, pain in the abdomen or vomiting. Do not self-medicate, otherwise the frequency of vomiting might increase and further cause fluid loss.


It is so much better to be cautious. Reduce your children’s risk of getting waterborne illnesses with the tips mentioned above!


About the author

Based in San Diego, California, Melissa Page is a professional writer with over four years of experience. She is also a health-nut, and can be found in the gym or preparing a healthy meal.


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