Just as you’re settling into chores of the new season with the onset of summers, you’d realize that your little champion has started counting down to the month of MAY, when the much-awaited-summer vacations would begin!
Children are always excited about the longer days, travelling to grand-parents’ house, playing around and splashing around. While many people imagine summer vacation being a bunch of lazy days, the fact is most parents have to work and worry about what they’ll do to keep the kids busy and out of trouble. And to ensure that their academics, curricular activities do not suffer in any manner possible.
Irrespective there is someone at home to look after children or not, be sure that kids are responsible and old enough to stay home alone safely or with an adult. Make sure they know what to do in an emergency, how to deal with strangers on the phone or at the door, and have a neighbor check in on them regularly.
Keep them Busy
While summer should be a relaxing, fun time for kids, they still need to keep their minds and bodies active.
- Set firm limits about how much time they’re allowed to watch TV and movies, or play video or computer games. Instead, provide the kids with a comprehensive list of activities.
- Make it clear which activities they’re allowed to do on their own, and which ones they need to do with adult supervision.
- They could visit the local library for books, videos, music, games, activities, story times, and summer reading programs.
- They could join a sporting team and play locally.
- Free play- including Tree climbing, jumping rope, camping in the backyard, bike riding, sidewalk chalk, building forts out of cardboard boxes.
- Planting a vegetable or flower garden, writing a book or journal, painting a series of paintings on a theme, planning and performing a play, playing with pets, swimming, jumping on a trampoline, or running through the house- all can be a lot of fun and developmental for the child!
- Arts and crafts activities. Including painting, play-dough, making cards, origami, etc
- Start a collection: bugs, rocks, dried plants or flowers, books, or found objects.
- Help them plan, advertise, and run a small summer business: selling home baked goodies, chocolates crafts, or jewelry they’ve made, or have them start plants from seeds and sell them.
- Volunteer. Kids learn a lot from helping others. They can help an elderly neighbor, or elder kids can organize a charity event such as car wash, or elderly luncheon.
- Summer camp: have them go to an accredited camp for a week or two.
- Exchange programmes: Find out if your children can enroll and participate in any exchange programme with school children of other countries It could be online also..
- Planned outings: visit the zoo, museum, planetarium, nearby park, swimming pool, go camping or hiking, stargazing, or fishing.
- Cooking: have them plan, shop, and prepare for a family dinner each week.
- Board games: encourage them to make it exciting by having neighborhood chess tournaments, Monopoly etc
- Household Chores: Involve them in household chores! They learn responsibility, and feel proud that they can contribute. Require that kids clean up after themselves, and have them help out with laundry or watering the garden. Reward them for a job well done.
With a little bit of planning, summer can be a safe, fun, and learning time for kids.
Prevention of heat stroke in children
With the heat wave having set in, the afternoon hours have become very tough on children. The number of heat stroke cases is increasing with every passing year. The daunting statistics make it essential for parents to be aware about the causes, symptoms and preventive measures to protect their children from heat stroke. Parents need to be aware of not only how to prevent a heat-stroke, but also how to handle a heat-stroke.
During heat stroke, the body temperature is elevated up to 104 F and the blood supply to brain is impaired. The following symptoms may be visible and must not be overlooked at all:
- High body temperature (about 104 F)
- Rapid pulse and heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness, disorientation and headache
- Fatigue and breathlessness
- Muscle cramps and pain
- Hot, dry skin and absence of sweat
This condition deteriorates very rapidly and requires a timely action, otherwise the child may lose consciousness. One should seek immediate medical assistance in such a case.
Prevention is better than cure
- The best preventive measure of heat stroke is keeping the child indoors, particularly during the peak hours, which is noon to 4 PM.
- Teach the children about the importance of keeping themselves hydrated. Give them an extra water bottle with a homemade energy drink, prepared by adding lemon juice, salt and sugar to water. Tell them to keep having small sips of both water and this drink throughout the day and most importantly, on their way back from school, too.
- Give them a wide-brimmed hat or bandana to cover their heads when they are outdoors. The head is particularly susceptible to suffer from heat stroke. Apply sunscreen on uncovered areas of the body to avoid sunburn.
- Ensure that the children are not involved in vigorous and outdoor physical activities in school, as it may cause them to be dehydrated due to excessive sweating.
- In case the child seems to have symptoms of heat stroke, call a doctor immediately. You can give some first aid, such as taking the child in a cool room, removing the clothes, sponging the forehead and body with cold water and giving him ORS or some natural energy drink. Avoid caffeinated drinks, tea or coffee.
Home remedies for heat stroke
There are some simple home remedies that can protect your school going children from heat stroke. These are:
- Hydration is the key to combating heat stroke. Plain water, fruit and vegetable juices, sherbets, glucose and lemonade not only prevent heat stroke, but are also nutritious and energy giving. Also give them plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables such as water-melons, melons, cucumbers and lettuce.
- Coriander juice or coriander-mint chutney is an effective home remedy for heat stroke.
- Massage coconut oil in the scalp in case of high body temperature.
- Coconut water and tamarind juice are other drinks helpful for combating heat stroke.
- Onion juice can be applied at the back of the ears to alleviate the symptoms of heat stroke. Onion salad is beneficial too.
- Soak some ripe plums in water for 3-4 hours and mash them in the water. Drain the mixture and serve it to the child when he comes home.
- Prepare buttermilk by mixing 2 tablespoons of fresh curd in a glass of water and adding a pinch of black salt and powdered cumin seeds and blending them together. Serve it twice a day.
- Mango panna and thandai are traditional drinks used to protect against heat stroke.
We are sure many of our parents have very interesting stories about their childhood summer vacations. Maybe you went on a holiday; maybe you spent with your grandparents learning something. Maybe you had picked up a new hobby. Why don’t you share your summer stories with us? Write in to us at [email protected] and we will publish the three best stories on our website! Make sure your stories are 1000 words or less, and feel free to write in any language. In case you would like to write by hand, please send to Jaipuria Corporate Office at Delhi or drop by and deliver at any of our schools. We will be waiting to hear from you!