Your Guide to a Happy Healthy Summer
Summer is here and we’re delighted to share a guide that will help you have a happy, healthy one. Pediatrician Dr Manu Chaudhary shares her expertise:
Everyone deserves a happy and healthy summer break, whether you are spending it in Ahmedabad or traveling out of station. Heat-related illness occurs when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
Maintain good hydration
- Water intake: at least 1-1.5 liters per day for children and 2 liters for adults.
- TIP – Get 1 jar/bottle for every member of the household, fill each with recommended amount in the morning, make sure it is empty by end of the day.
- Remind your children to drink water as it’s not a priority for them.
- TIP – You can always use your smartphone to set a reminder for yourself or your kids.
- During sports sessions, encourage solutions with appropriate salts like WHO ORS(oral rehydration solution) or Gatorade or sweet and salty lemonade.
- Fresh seasonal fruit juices, lassi, curd, coconut water etc.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 30+ and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time you and your child go outside (can be used for ages 2 months and above), at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
- TIP – if you know your outdoor plans beforehand, set a reminder on your smartphone for 30 min before the time you’ll be leaving. You may carry a travel size sunscreen stick in your purse. Eg. La Shield (Fisico)
- Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because the sunscreen needs to be applied every 2 hours
- Use hats, sunglasses, and umbrellas.
- Dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored and full sleeve cotton clothing.
- Considering the harsh Indian summer, avoid being outdoors between 12 noon-4pm.
- Never leave children in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
Mosquitos and bugs
- 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should NOT be used on children younger than two months of age.
- Do not allow children to apply repellents by themselves.
- Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth. You should spray the repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
- Cover up with long pants and long sleeves whenever possible. Also, use mosquito nets.
- Wash hands after applying repellent. Wash off repellent at the end of the day.
- Bike/Scooter rides: Well fitted helmet: The strap should be securely fastened with about two fingers able to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but not overly tight. The skin should move with the helmet when moved side to side. Protective wrist, elbow, and knee pads should be worn.
- Water safety:
- Floatation devices and properly fitted life jacket.
- Children should always be supervised during water activities including home water tubs.
- Install a four-sided fence around home pools.
- Eat light meals at small intervals. Include salads in your diet and consume green leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits.
Dr. Manu Chaudhary
MBBS (AFMC, Pune) | MD Pediatrics (FAAP, USA)
Infectious Diseases Specialist (ABP certified, USA)