Protect children from heat wave
Young children and infants are more vulnerable to heat wave than healthy adults. Their bodies generate more heat (higher metabolic rate), sweat less and get dehydrated easily. Further, they are dependent on parents/caregivers for taking care of their needs and keeping them safe.
Keep them in a cool, shaded place; breastfeed infants regularly/give enough milk and water to toddlers. Cool them down by sponging with lukewarm water.
Watch out for these symptoms: high body temperature with lethargy, sunken and dry eyes, loose skin, dry mouth and less urination. If they show any of these symptoms, take them to a doctor immediately. Remember, the medication used for a fever will not work for heat-related ailments. Never give them medicines on your own.
For young/school going children
Give them plenty of fluids (water, homemade drinks like lassi, torani, lemon water, fruit juice, buttermilk, coconut water) throughout the day. Make them light, healthy, fresh meals at home. Say NO to junk food and oily food. Dress them in light cotton clothes.
Try to keep them indoors during peak hours, especially during peak hours between 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Keep their schedule for outdoor games in the evening. If and when they go out in the sun, make them cover their head using a cap or an umbrella and carry a bottle of water.
Besides these general precautions, caregivers must learn how to identify heat-related illnesses in children. Check on them for concentrated (dark-coloured) urine, which indicates dehydration. Visit a doctor immediately if the child complains of nausea, constant headache, chest pain and breathing problems.
Never leave them unsupervised in parked cars as vehicles rapidly heat up to dangerous temperatures and may cause death.
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