May 30, 2018
Come summer and as the mercury levels keep soaring up, we try to be indoor, away from the scorching heat as much possible. However, it is a challenge to keep your little ones indoor 24*7.

Also, kids take longer to adopt to the high levels of heat during summers. Thus, it becomes mandatory for parents to ensure proper hydration by maintaining appropriate fluid levels in the child’s body during summer.

“Dehydration, sunburn, and heat stroke are common health problems during summer in children. Parents should make sure that the child is always hydrated and wears a layer of sunscreen on the exposed skin area. Being exposed to warm weather can lead to dehydration in children resulting in loss of body weight, lack of concentration, frequent headaches, tiredness, reduced mental performance and dry skin. It is important for parents to make sure that adequate levels of fluids are maintained in the child’s body,” says Dr Suruchi Goyal Agarwal, Consultant - Paediatrics and Paediatric Endocrinology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield.

In case, the body temperature suddenly shoots up, and the child feels tired, he should immediately be given medical attention. Depending solely on water for hydration during summers is not enough. Kids should be given fluids like coconut water, milk, fresh fruit juices (not packet juices) buttermilk etc, throughout the day.

Things to keep in mind

“Parents should keep a check on the frequency of urination in children to make sure the child is having enough fluids. If the child is not urinating for long, it’s an indication to parents that the child does not have adequate fluid content in the body,” said Dr Suruchi.

Generally, parents do not realise the after effects of a heat stroke and confuse it with the sun burn. In a heat stroke the body starts overheating and the body temperature can even rise to 105 degrees. “In a heat stroke the body does not sweat and cannot regulate the body temperature. This can lead to children fainting and vomiting. When a child suffers a heat stroke, he should be immediately given medical attention,” adds Dr Suruchi.
 Parents need to be cautious with the diet of their little ones during   this time of the year. “Most kids fail to realise early stages of   thirst. However, it is important for children between 5 and 8 years   of age to consume at least 1 litre of water every day and for kids   between 9 and 12 years of age to drink 1.5 liter of water to prevent   dehydration,” said Sherly Ganesh, Nutritionist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal.

“Parents should consider including fresh whole seasonal fruits in child’s diet especially in summers. Fruits like watermelon, pomegranate, oranges and others not only provide required nutrients but are also rich in water content,” she adds

Dr Suruchi gives some tips by to keep your kids safe this summer:
  • Apply sunscreen on the child’s exposed skin after every hour, especially if the child is involved in competitive sports. If the child is at school for most of the time send the sunscreen along so that it can be applied frequently
  • Cover child’s head with a cap to prevent the head heating excessively
  • Make sure that the child is hydrated with adequate fluid level in the body
  • Mosquito bite prevention should be done by applying mosquito repellent creams on the exposed skin
  • Make your child wear light coloured clothing that covers full legs and hands when he/she is outside
The adequate fluid requirement for your child during summer:
Age Group Fluid requirement
0-6 months Breast milk for every 2-3 hours
7 months -1 years 500-700 ml
2-4 years 1 litre -1.2 litres
5-7 years 1.5 litre
8-10 years 1.9 litre

Original Article: Indus Parent