Indian summers are extreme. It can get very hot and humid and can drain anyone out. Taking care of a child in summer can be difficult especially since kids love to run around and play all day. Here are some suggestions to keep your child comfortable in the heat.
Use the right fabric (Clothing)
Summers can cause a child to sweat a lot and get dehydrated as well. Your child’s body can also break out into a heat rash. You can prevent some of these problems by dressing right. Select the right fabric, the right colours and the right fit.
Right fabric – Stick to cotton fabrics as much as possible. Cotton fabrics easily absorb sweat and allow the sweat to evaporate faster. Excessive sweating can lead to fungal infections. Cotton is the perfect material for summer because it keeps one cool, dry and prevents infections. Do not dress your child in synthetic fabrics.
Right colours – Opt for lighter shades such as pastels, whites, light yellow etc. Light colours reflect the sunlight, unlike dark colours which absorb sunlight and trap the heat making one feel hotter. Light coloured clothes keep you cool and are also pleasing to the eye.
Right fit – Avoid dressing your child in tight clothes that restrict their movement and blood circulation. Our blood vessels tend to dilate when the outside temperature goes up. This is nature’s way of ensuring that the heat in the body is released so that the body can cool down. So dress your child in loose, airy clothes to let the blood circulate freely.
Keep your child hydrated
Children are more active than adults and hence tend to get dehydrated faster than adults. On an average, a child needs about 6-8 glasses of liquid a day. But this will go up during summer. Therefore it is important to keep your child hydrated at all times.
Here are a few simple precautions you can take to protect your child from dehydration.
- Get them to drink liquids frequently. Add a cup of buttermilk or fruit juices such as watermelon juice, coconut water, and lemonade with their meals.
- Don’t wait for your child to tell you he or she is thirsty. Make them drink water at regular intervals. Children are too busy playing to know they are thirsty. They will continue to play no matter what. Don’t wait for them to ask you for water, get them to drink regularly.
- Make sure that your child carries a water bottle when they step outside to play.
- Ensure that your child drinks fluids at least 30 minutes before any outdoor activity. Drinking water after a hectic days play is equally important.
- Give them a Popsicle treat! You can easily prepare healthy popsicles at home. Just make some fruit juice, pour it into the ice tray and insert an ice cream stick and freeze it. Your healthy Popsicle is ready!
- Include high-water-content fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet. Add watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots into their diet.
Play/stay indoor during peak heat
It can get very hot between 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Overexposure to the sun during this time can lead to dehydration, sunburn or even sunstroke in extreme cases. Try not to venture out during these times. Think of indoor games and activities to keep your child occupied. If you do have to step out, make sure to carry an umbrella or wear a hat. And don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you at all times.
Keep fungal infections at bay
Indian summers and sweat go hand in hand. Unfortunately, sweat causes fungal infection to flourish. Common areas for fungal infection include underarms, between the toes, between folds of the skin or any area that does not get much air. Maintain good hygiene to keep fungal infections away. Here are some tips:
- Ensure that your child always washes his/her hands and feet after playing
- Change their clothes frequently during the day, especially on a terribly hot and humid day
- Ensure that your child has a proper bath after they come out of the swimming pool
- Do not let your kids exchange clothes with other kids
Manage prickly heat
Excessive sweat also causes prickly heat. Children are at a higher risk of getting prickly heat because their sweat glands are not fully developed. Prickly heat causes itchiness and discomfort to the child. Here are some tips to prevent prickly heat
- Use the right fabric. Use lightweight fabrics that breathe, such as cotton.
- If your child has prickly heat, then give him/her a bath in normal water. Do not dress them up but just wrap them in a towel and let them be. Give some time for the rashes to get healed. Apply talcum powder if need be but don’t overdo it. Calamine lotion is also very good for prickly heat. However, please check with your doctor before you use it on your child.
- Ensure that your child stays well hydrated
Stay away from outside drinks and food
Food or waterborne diseases are pretty common during summer. Due to a shortage of water, hygiene may be compromised. Juices and food may be served in unwashed glasses and plates and food may not be fresh. This increases the chances of your kid catching a stomach infection. Give your child home cooked meal as much as possible. If you do have travel out, stick to freshly cooked, hot meals and bottled water.
Summer holidays for a child should be a time for fun, a time for building memories and for enjoying to the hilt. Keep your child healthy and safe by taking some basic precautions and let them have a blast.