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The rains are here! It feels like the long sunny summer days are a distant memory, while gentle breezes caress our faces, and the air starts emanating the musty muddy smell of newly-soaked soil. Evoking childhood reminiscences of playing in the rain, splashing in puddles and floating paper boats, the monsoon in India is the best season and one that every single Indian, rich and poor, looks forward to. However, beware! For the monsoon in India brings with it nasty germs and infection-laden waves. And little children are the most prone to falling ill, if we are not careful about their health, hygiene and surroundings. Children love to play in the rain, and they enjoy eating hot fried foods in this weather. Furthermore, the rain water and puddles that they splash in are very effective carriers of germs and viruses. Alongwith the cooling showers of the welcome rain come the raging fevers for young children. Unless of course, precautions are taken. Ensure that your children are aware of the need to be careful when they play in the rain. They may slip and fall, graze their knees and elbows, and thus leave themselves more open to the threat of infections. Let them enjoy the rains, but safely! Teach them not to eat outside food in this weather. Also, they need to ensure they have a bath, if not wash themselves thoroughly when they come in from the rain, and put their wet clothes immediately for washing.

Health care tips for kids in monsoon
• Keep your children’s room clean and dry. Maintain the normal room temperature in their rooms.
• Give a hot bath to your child in monsoon.Add few drops of antiseptic liquids in their bath water.
• Keep their rooms well-ventilated in the monsoon, especially during the day time.
• Close all the doors and windows in the evening time if not mosquitos and other insects can find entry into your home.
• Keep cold, flu, fever medicines at all times in your home. • Use mosquito nets in the kids’ rooms instead of mosquito coils.
• Ensure all the children’s clothes are dry. Air-dried clothes are the best, but if the humidity is excess and the clothes don’t dry properly, invest in a good clothes dryer.
• Children’s feet should always be clean and dry.
• Children should have fresh and warm food in the monsoons. Any leftovers should be warmed properly and well.
• Make your children bags, rain coats, playing items dry and clean.

Child health care tips during monsoon season

Cleanliness Keeping homes clean to prevent monsoon ailments is a major concern for parents, who are concerned about their children’s health. Water logging anywhere around the house must be cleared immediately.Damp clothes, especially towels and shoes, must be kept outside as they develop fungus and bacteria on them.

Food The digestive process in kids slows down during monsoons. Typhoid is the most common disease in kids which is caused by having contaminated water and food. It is best to give the child balanced healthy home cooked food. Antioxidants like ginger, turmeric and other herbs must be included in the child’s diet. Raw foods like salads and raw eggs must not be given to the children as there are chances of them being contaminated fast. Fruits and vegetables must be washed well before using. Leftover cooked food should be given to the kids only after re heating it properly. Fruit juices and lassies and buttermilk should also be avoided.

Water Sweating that takes place on the body of the kids does not evaporate soon in monsoon and so the body gets dehydrated quickly. It is necessary to keep the child hydrated by giving enough water and juices throughout the day. As it is true that water borne diseases are on the rise in monsoon, it is better to give boiled water or filter purified waterto kids. Boiling and filtering can kill the disease causing pathogens.

Walking after the rains is tempting for kids as they love to watch insects, birds and water puddles. Care must be taken that the child walks into the puddles and mushy areas, only after wearing protective rain gear and waterproof boots. Mosquitoes multiplyfast inany stagnant water in the house or around the house. Coolers and flower vases in the homes must be cleared regularly.

Mosquito nets or mosquito repellents must be used for kids to prevent mosquito bites. Doors and windows must be kept closed in the evenings

Foot care Dampness and moisture in the shoes, socks and feet can lead to fungal infection on the feet of the kids. The children’s feet, shoes and socks must be kept dry and clean all the time.

Clothes and footwear Light cotton and loose clothes are best for kids during monsoon. These clothes will allow the skin to breathe. Talcum powder must be regularly applied in folds of the skin like under arms, under the knees in the groin and in between the toes. These places are prone to infection caused by dampness. They can be washed and dried easily. Change the dresses of kids after playing outside in the dirt and water.

Leather, suede and cloth shoes are not the right footwear during monsoon. Synthetic chappals and open sandalsare a good option in the rainy season. Gumboots are ideal for kids. They help to protect the feet from dirty water, mud, insect bites and contact with other germs causing skin infections and keep them dry. Nail biting habit in children is very dangerous during the rainy season. Dirt deposited inside the nails enters the child’s stomach along with food causing several stomach problems. Temperature fluctuation Rain after a hot and humid day brings with it cold winds and chilly weather. Sneezing, cough and cold is a common constant problem for kids. Hot milk, hot soups will help in relieving chest congestion and coughing.