Saturday, June 10, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 20, 1444 H
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Summer safety for children

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As the scorching summer days approach, medical experts are urging parents to take extra care of their children's health. The intense heat can easily compromise children's immunity and expose them to various health hazards.

Dr Nihal Afifi, Specialist and Head of the School of Health Section at Primary Health Service and Geriatric Service Care in Muscat Governorate, emphasises the importance of ensuring that children stay hydrated by providing ample water whenever they feel thirsty. Taking precautionary measures to prevent dehydration is crucial.

"Children, whether in school or playing around the home premises, should be encouraged to drink plenty of water to maintain proper hydration, which aids in sweating and regulating their body temperature," advised Dr Nihal.

Additionally, parents are advised to take extra precautions when administering certain medications to their children. If a child is under medication or has a condition that increases their vulnerability to heat-related problems, they should avoid exposure to excessive heat and take prompt action if needed.

When it comes to clothing choices during the summer, it is recommended to opt for loose-fitting and lightweight attire instead of extreme fashion trends. Dr Nihal highlights the crucial role parents play in safeguarding their children's health during the summer months. They should ensure their children consume an adequate amount of fluids and encourage frequent rest breaks in cool areas if they observe signs of overheating during outings.

Parents' well-being is equally important, and protecting oneself from sunburn is crucial. Dr Nihal advises parents to shield themselves from the sun's harmful rays by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and generously applying sunscreen with a broad-spectrum protection of at least SPF 15. Reapplication every two hours is necessary.

"One should limit the time spent working or exercising in the heat until the body becomes acclimated. Individuals who are not accustomed to hot weather are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. It may take several weeks for the body to adjust to high temperatures. Lastly, seek immediate medical attention if there is a heat-related emergency," adds Dr Nihal Afifi.

Protecting children's health during the summer requires vigilance and proactive measures. By following these expert recommendations, parents can ensure their children stay safe and healthy throughout the season.


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