Taking care of your children during summers becomes important as the scorching heat of the sun can pose several health risks, especially if proper precautions are not taken.
From dehydration to respiratory issues, there are numerous health problems a child faces amid the hot and humid month of summer.
Dehydration is a significant concern during the hot summer months in India, particularly in children who have summer holidays and go out to play. The high temperatures and excessive sweating can quickly deplete the body's water levels, leading to dehydration. Children, particularly infants, are at a higher risk also due to their smaller body size and higher metabolic rate.
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Encouraging children to drink water, and electrolyte-rich fluids like coconut water can help replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration. Additionally, scheduling outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, can also reduce the risk.
Risk Of Heat-Related Illnesses
Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, are also common in Indian children during the summer season. A study published in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics highlighted that heat-related illnesses are on the rise among children, and they can range from mild symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and nausea to more severe conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and life-threatening heatstroke. Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat disease. Excessive heat overwhelms the body's heat-regulating system, causing it to malfunction. If the capacity to sweat diminishes, the skin may become dry. It's a life-threatening situation that requires quick medical attention.
A child should wear loose, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton that can help in heat dissipation. It is also essential to provide children with ample shade and encourage them to take frequent breaks in shaded areas during outdoor play. Also, avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the peak heat hours of the day.
Skin problems, such as sunburn and rashes, are also common among Indian children during the summer season. Prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays can cause sunburn, skin tanning, and other skin problems in children. The harsh summer sun can also exacerbate existing skin conditions like eczema, leading to rashes and itching.
To protect children's skin during the summer season, they should wear protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing.
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Respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma, can worsen during the summer season in India. As per Indian Journal of Chest Diseases and Allied Sciences, pollen levels and air pollution during the summer season can trigger respiratory problems in children, particularly those with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.