Let’s talk about summer health problems and make sure your kids have an amazing and safe summer! Ah, it’s that wonderful time of the year when exams are finally over, and everyone’s been promoted to the next class. It’s the perfect opportunity for some well-deserved fun and relaxation. Whether you’re staying home or heading to an exciting vacation spot, your children are bound to have a blast. As parents, our priority is to keep a watchful eye on common summer health issues.
Here in India, our climate is mostly tropical, which means summers can get quite intense. The combination of high humidity and scorching heat can give rise to various health concerns for kids. But fear not! Prevention is the key. By being aware of the most common summer health problems that affect children, we can take proactive steps to ensure their well-being. After all, knowledge is power, and being well-informed allows us to protect and care for our little ones in the best possible way. So let’s dive in and equip ourselves with the necessary precautions to make this summer a healthy and happy one for our kids!
10 Common Summer Health Problems in Children and How to prevent them?
Dehydration is one of the most common summer health problems in kids, mainly because they’re so busy playing, they simply forget to drink! They probably look like they’re drinking more than usual, but it’s likely to still be less than what their bodies need in hot weather. The risk increases if they regularly play outdoors, where they sweat a lot. The signs of dehydration include extreme thirst, fatigue and very little urine output. In such situations, give them a drink of water, oral rehydration solution or coconut water – these help to restore the minerals and salts lost through sweating.
Many people confuse sun tan and sunburn, but they are actually distinct in nature. When it comes to summer health problems, understanding the difference is crucial. Skin tans as a result of sun exposure, primarily affecting melanin pigments. On the other hand, sunburns are more serious, characterized by redness, potential blisters, and itchiness. If your child experiences sunburn, it’s best to seek medical advice after they have taken a shower.
To prevent these summer health problems, it’s important to keep kids out of the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Additionally, ensuring they wear sun hats whenever they go outside can provide added protection.
To prevent suntan, always use sunscreen while out in the sun.
- Apply the cream liberally over the body parts, take care to reach the parts which are difficult to apply like back of ear, nape of neck, back etc.
- Apply the sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out.
- Do not combine insect repellent cream with the sunscreen.
- If your kid is under the sun for more than 2 hours reapply again and if he is wet, wipe off dry and reapply the cream.
3. Heat Stroke
Heat strokes, a critical summer health concern, require immediate medical attention. Although uncommon in kids, prolonged exposure to intense heat can lead to this condition. Look out for symptoms like high temperature, dizziness, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. To prevent heat strokes, limit outdoor activities during the hottest hours and opt for early morning or late evening playtimes. Prioritizing safety will help safeguard children from summer health problems, including heat strokes.
Summer brings an increase in allergens, with higher pollen counts and inhalant allergies becoming more common. Symptoms like sneezing and nasal irritations, similar to hay fever, can occur. Kids spending more time outdoors and vacationing in pollen-rich areas may aggravate these allergies. Keep antihistamines on hand and reduce contact with allergens to manage these summer health problems.
5. Fungal Infections
Indian summers are humid and promote sweating, making people susceptible to fungal infections. Common areas affected include underarms, groin, toes, and body folds. Symptoms include itching and redness. To prevent these summer health problems, maintain good hygiene, wear clean, dry clothes, and take extra care after outdoor activities or swimming.
Some useful tips to follow with children are
- Always wash the hands and feet after playing.
- Change the sweat stained clothes frequently during a day.
- Don’t allow children to share clothing like shirts, shoes, etc.
- Keep the children away from stray animals.
6. Prickly Heat
Prickly heat is one the most common summer health problems for kids in India and it occurs because of excessive sweating which ends up blocking the sweat glands. Young children are particularly prone to prickly heat because of their underdeveloped sweat glands. It usually appears as tiny raised spots over a surface of the body like the back, abdomen or arms. It is itchy and in some cases, a mild redness might persist. While not serious, it can be very uncomfortable and the use of child-safe prickly heat powder offers relief. It’s better to prevent it by keeping kids in a cool environment.
How to prevent Prickly heat in children?
- Dress the child in soft light weight cotton clothes.
- If your child has prickly heat, then wash him in luke warm water and allow some nude time for the rashes to get healed.
- Also make sure he is well hydrated.
7. Insect Bites
Many insects love hot and humid climates, making summer a busy time for common summer health problems like insect bites in kids. With increased outdoor play and open windows, the frequency of bites rises. Common insects that bite include mosquitoes, ticks, bees, and wasps. While most bites are not serious, some may trigger allergic reactions, requiring immediate medical attention. If you are unsure about an unidentified bite, it’s important to consult a doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.
8. Eye Irritation
The summer sun emits its strongest rays, which can pose a threat to children’s eyes. Direct exposure to intense heat can cause irritation and dryness. Additionally, increased screen time during vacations can further contribute to eye dryness. To protect their eyes, it’s important to limit screen time at home and encourage outdoor activities. When outdoors, ensure children wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses that provide UV protection. Taking these precautions will help safeguard against summer health problems related to eye irritation and dryness.
9. Swimmer’s Ear
Summer means swimming time, and this is the perfect time for little kids to hit the pool! But excessive pool time can lead to swimmer’s ear, a painful infection caused by water collecting in the outer ear. It starts with itching and can be quite painful. To prevent swimmer’s ear and other summer health problems, keep the ears covered with a swim cap.
Diarrhea is one of the common summer health problems caused by food or waterborne diseases. While it may not be severe for older children, it can be life-threatening for babies. During the summer, water shortages can lead to food being served on unwashed plates and the consumption of juices made from unclean water. It is crucial to closely monitor children’s diets during this time and prioritize eating homemade meals whenever possible. While on vacation, it’s best to avoid shady places and opt for hot, cooked food and bottled water to reduce the risk of diarrhea and associated health complications.
Summer is a time meant for fun and relaxation and a time to recharge before school starts again. By being aware of common summer health concerns for kids, you can take steps to prevent them. Let your kids enjoy their vacations and you can too, without any worries for their health!