Surviving Summer Tips: Keeping Children Safe and Healthy
Posted on April 9, 2019 by Early Innings
With rising temperatures, scorching heat, humidity or dry dust blowing about – summers can set the stage for multiple health issues. It is also a time for school vacations; with children spending more time outdoors thus increasing their chances of falling sick.
The following preventive summer tips can ensure a healthy and safe summer for children.
Dealing with exposure to heat and sunlight
- Children should be dressed in light, cotton or linen outfits, allowing for the skin to breathe. Covering up while outdoors can protect the skin from sun burns.
- Choose a suitable sunscreen for your child and apply regularly. Remember, that the Sun’s ultraviolet rays can harm skin even in shaded areas. Lighter the skin tone, higher is the risk.
- Use caps/hats/scarves/umbrellas and protective eye wear as and when required.
- Outdoor activities can be scheduled preferably in the mornings or evenings when the Sunlight is not as harsh.
- Don’t leave children, unattended in a hot car.
Food and fluid intake
- Dehydration is a major concern. Keep children well hydrated with water, fresh fruit juices, tender coconut water and home-made summer coolers. Make sure they drink water before, in between and after play or any other outdoor activity.
- Avoid food which has been cooked and kept out for a long time as germs breed faster in high/ humid environment.
- As far as possible, choose light, freshly prepared foods with lower fat and spice content.
- Include healthy foods in the diet that boost immunity, have higher fluid content and/or have pro-biotic, anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties.
E.g.:- Immunity Boosters – Amla, Buttermilk, Lemon Juice.
Pro-Biotic – Curd / Yogurt
Anti-Viral/ Anti-Bacterial – Tulsi, Mint, Beetroots, Drumsticks
Water Based Foods – Cucumbers, Melons, Lettuce and other Salad Leaves.
Heat Related Summer Illnesses:
- Know the signs of heat stroke and dehydration (dizziness, excessive sweating, rapid pulse, high temperature, vomiting, fainting etc.) and take preventive steps by keeping the children well hydrated and by not being in the harsh sunlight for long durations.
- Encourage children to wash up after play and take showers if possible to keep germs at bay and keep the body cool.
- Viral and bacterial attacks are common during summers so teach children to maintain good hygiene, provide healthy, immunity boosting meals and seek immediate medical attention if flu like symptoms appears as they could indicate more serious viral infections.
- Always supervise children while they are swimming. Train them to avoid swallowing the pool water. Make them shower before and after swimming and give them hourly toilet breaks.
- Ensure children wear covered clothing for outdoor activities; especially that involve camping/trekking to avoid insect bites.
- Use insect repellent creams, sprays, wrist bands during outdoor play or activities like camping, walking through wooded areas, playing after sunset.
- If rash or itching occurs after coming in contact with certain plants, wash the area immediately and apply calamine lotion. In severe cases, consult a doctor.