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Keep Children Healthy Through Monsoon

Nisha Mathew

Everyone loves the monsoon! It comes as a relief after the crazy months of scorching heat – bringing down tempers and the sweat quotient. And, as you sit on our balconies (hopefully with a cup of hot tea and pakoda’s) watching the gloomy rain clouds, listening to the raindrops with the smell of wet earth around you, you take a trip down memory lane back to your childhood... the fun of getting wet in the rain and playing in the puddles, maybe floating a paper boat or two!!

But... you are parents now... and guess what, your kids love doing exactly what you used to do. The monsoons get them excited, making them run outside, get wet, jump in muddy pools of water and generally get messy and dirty! And though, it all sounds lovely and you wish you could join them in the fun, you are reminded, as a responsible parent, that rainy season brings with it a host of diseases.

Hold on to your horses though... before you lock your children up and prevent them from ever enjoying the rains! With a few preventive measures you get to protect their health through monsoon without them missing out on making their own monsoon memories.

  1. Home Food: Typhoid is quite common during monsoon – mainly through eating or drinking contaminated food and water. To prevent this and other such diseases contracted through improper hygiene conditions - avoid eating food from outside as we never know what kind of water or unwashed food items are being used in restaurants or hotels. Definitely avoid food from street vendors. It is better to have home food entirely. Parents make some tasty food at home so that your kids do not get inclination towards the outside food. Or, if the occasional craving for non-home cooked food does set in – eat only at places where you are sure of the hygiene.

  2. Boil Water - Water borne diseases are one of the most common reasons for falling sick during monsoon. Always drink boiled water or filtered and purified water. This will help you and your children stay healthy. Avoid outside water, carry a bottle of water when you plan going out with kids or ask for mineral water.

  3. Change Your Food Habits - Follow a healthy diet and boost your child’s immunity with a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that offers protective and nutritional value. Avoid raw foods like salad and raw eggs as these can get contaminated fast and stick to steamed, boiled or fully cooked foods during monsoon. Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables in clean water before using. Avoid stale food or leftover food unless reheated properly - fresh food is the best method to stay healthy. Avoid leafy vegetables in monsoon as they can contain larvae, dust and worms. Fruit juices and lassies and buttermilk should also be avoided. Give children light and easy to digest food during monsoons as the digestive system is weak during this time of the year and spicy/ oily foods can lead to problems with digestion problems.

  4. Avoid Stagnant Water - Playing in stagnant water is fun... but it also causes diseases. Stagnating water is the breeding ground was all sorts of microbial infections. So to keep your children healthy, educate them and advice them to stay away from stagnant water. Also ensure that you do not allow water to collect and thereby stagnant around your house, not just to avoid diseases but also since they are a breeding place for mosquitoes.

  5. Mosquito-Proof Your Home - As mentioned above, stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for dengue and malaria causing mosquitoes. Protect your child’s health this monsoon by ensuring there is no water stagnation in and around your home. Use a mosquito net or keep all doors and windows closed in the evenings. You can also apply skin-friendly repellents to prevent mosquito bites.

  6. Personal Hygiene - Monsoon brings bacteria, germs and viruses that can lead to serious illnesses in your child. Protect their health this monsoon by keeping them and yourself dry and clean all the time. Sanitize your hands before you start cooking and do the same with your child’s hands before they touch their meal. Give them a shower after they get wet or play in the rain. Even if they haven’t been playing in the rain ask them to wash their hands and legs when they come home in order to stay healthy. This habit is important in rainy season however it is a good practice in general too. Nails are a major source of bacterial infection. So trim nails on time and get them to give up nail biting if it’s a habit.

  7. The Right Clothes and Footwear - Apart from raincoats and umbrellas, dress children in loose, light cotton clothes that allow the skin to breathe. Use of gumboots is a must to protect their tiny feet from infections caused by them jumping around in puddles of rain water.

  8. Warm and Dry – Even with all precautions taken, sometimes during heavy rains, you cannot avoid getting wet. If children come home wet, ask them to wash their hands and feet and immediately change into fresh, dry clothes. This will make sure they do not fall sick. Also, remember to dry off the drenched rain coat they came were wearing or even that school bag if it’s gotten wet!

So you see... with these simple tips you dear parents can protect your child’s health through monsoon without taking away the joy of their enjoying the rains. Here’s to creating some monsoon filled memories.


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