5 ways your child can beat the heat wave

Summers are here, and boy is it hot! With the mercury rising to an unbelievable 40 Degrees Celsius plus across the country, and summer vacations kicking in, the biggest challenge parents face is: How do I let my kids play outside when it’s so darn hot?

Well, worry not. We’ve got a checklist for you to make sure you don’t have to imprison your children inside just because it’s too hot. It’s summer vacations, after all. Get these five things in order to make sure when your child steps out, he’s safe from the heat wave that’s got everyone scurrying indoors..

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

This is a no-brainer, right? Make sure your kid stays hydrated all day long. He or she will sweat (and more so because it’s so hot) whether they are inside the house or out. If they are stepping out, they need to carry a bottle of water along. While you’re at it, make it interesting: they can drink coconut water, kokum juice, masala buttermilk, etc. Avoid packaged fruit juices because they have a high sugar content. Carbonated drinks are an absolute no-no, not only are they ridiculously high in sugar, they are also diuretic, i.e. they actually dehydrate you and make you feel even thirstier. Even if you’re planning to make it at home, don’t. Having a whole fruit is any day better than having fruit juice. Do not allow them to drink refrigerated water right after coming back home.

Eat right

Of course, fruits. Seasonal fruits like watermelon and muskmelon are a must. Summers are tough on our digestive systems because unlike winters, the heat outside slows down digestion inside the body. The solution? Eat right — that means no junk food such as chips. And eat light; smaller meals, avoid salty, spicy or fried food and opt for curd, salads and soups at meals. Meat is difficult to digest anyway, so definitely cut down on non vegetarian during summers.

Foods cooked using spices like coriander, fennel, basil and cardamom are helpful in digestion, whereas fresh ginger and pepper are best used lightly during this hot season.

Dress right

Don’t swaddle your child in a million clothes just because he might catch the sun or hurt himself. Sure, they should wear a cap when outside, but make sure they’re dressed in light, cotton clothes that don’t trap heat but circulate it so that the body remains cool.

Maintain the temperature

Using an air conditioner in summers has become a necessity, but these constant fluctuations in temperature (from an AC room to outside) is what causes health issues when a child’s body tries to adapt to a different atmosphere. Make sure your kids don’t step out directly from an air-conditioned room. As far as possible, ask them to play in shade rather than under the sun. It would be even better if you can arrange for them to not get out between 12-4 in the afternoon, which is easily the hottest time of the day.

Skin care

Ensure that your child applies sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) at least 30 minutes before he or she steps out. And given the scorching temperature, it’s good to apply it every three hours or so since sweat and water can wash it off easily.