The monsoons are in full swing and kids are enjoying all the little pleasures it brings-floating paper boats in puddles, getting wet with friends and sipping on hot chocolate. But the rains also bring with them a host of health problems. The humidity causes frequent colds, coughs, fevers, stomach infections and other infectious diseases. Waterborne diseases like dysentery, cholera and typhoid are rampant during this season. Here are some basic tips to keep common ailments and diseases away in the monsoon.
- Give kids only boiled water. It is advisable that they carry their own water bottle whenever they go out of the house.
- Feed kids fresh, home-cooked food. Avoid outside or street food, especially uncooked, exposed foods like chutneys, sauces and salads to minimise the risk of stomach infections.
- Include lots of freshly cut fruits in kids' diet. Seasonal fruits like mangoes, bananas, apples and cherries are ideal as those that are not in season have a tendency to be worm-infested. Avoid cut fruits from outside.
- Make hot soups as they are rejuvenating and yummy on cold, rainy nights.
- Avoid all junk foods, soft drinks and sweetened drinks.
- Home-cut salad vegetables, peanuts, dry fruits, whole wheat soup sticks and chikki make for great mid-meal snacks.
- Corn is an excellent choice in this season. It can be had as corn on the cob, in soups or just steamed with a dash of butter, salt and pepper. It has several health benefits and is widely available in the monsoon.
- Hot low-fat cow’s milk is a good beverage in this weather.
- Protect your home from mosquitoes. Do not allow water to stagnate in your balcony or lawn and change water from flower pots or vases daily to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
- Remember to hang and dry raincoats and shoes. Wet raincoats or gumboots can lead to skin infections and itching or rashes.
- Even though it's raining outside, it's important that kids get to exercise. Encourage them to do simple exercises like jumping jacks, toe touching, skipping, wall stretches and hanging exercises or tadasan where they stand erect and raise their hands up as high as they can.
Healthy eating habits and exercise should be a regular part of children's daily routine in any season to ensure that they grow well physically, emotionally and physiologically.
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