Fun guide to safe summers
- Summer started; the kids are at home, full of energy, racing outdoors and exposing themselves to number of dangers like bug bites, minor injuries and summer-borne diseases.
- Parents need to protect them; give them healthy summer diet, allow them to play outdoors, but avoid harsh sun, keep them occupied and spend quality with them
Its summer holidays and a great time for kids! While many of them are enrolled in summer activity camps a few others may visit their grandparents or travel with their family on a vacation to beat the heat. Whichever way you engage them, it is important to keep them active this summer.
Include a physical activity schedule such as exercise, sports or yoga for at-least three days in a week for children. These activities will help strengthen their bones and muscles.
Even though children play in school and run around with their classmates during breaks, the quantity and quality of physical activity isn't sufficient. The recommended level of physical activity for children aged between 5 to 18 is 60 minutes a day.
While your kids enjoy their physical activities, it is important they stay hydrated. Water is the best preventive medicine. Excess heat may cause dehydration; therefore, it is essential that children drink plenty of water.
The recommended quantity is 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Please avoid aerated drinks with added flavours and preservatives. Instead, opt for fresh fruit juices that will replenish the body's lost fluids.
The diet could include salads with lots of water substance in them such as cucumbers and melons. Ensure the meals are light and healthy.
Children must be given lots of vegetables and fresh seasonal fruits as they have a lot of water content and keeps the body cool. It's better to stay away from junk food.
Let your children feel comfortable in what they wear. Cotton fabric is best.
Choose light coloured cloths with loose fitting to keep their body cool. When you take them out, it's advisable to cover their head with a cap or a scarf to avoid direct heat from the sun.
You may also choose certified sun glasses for kids to protect them from UV rays, which could otherwise damage their eyes. Avoid mid-day sun as the sunrays are more intense.
Make it a pleasant experience for your kids this summer.
- Dr Vishnuvardhan Reddy Meedimale
(The writer is a CCT consultant neonatal and pediatric intensivist, Hyderabad)